LATEST: Priscilla Chigumba’s ZEC issues statement


With the upcoming by-elections in Zimbabwe scheduled for Saturday, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced its complete readiness to deliver seamless and credible polls.

In preparation, ZEC has printed 230,000 ballot papers for the National Assembly elections and 144,000 for the local authorities’ polls. All 552 polling stations have been set up and are ready for use on election day. Furthermore, command centers have been established and made operational.

ZEC’s vice chairperson, Ambassador Rodney Kiwa, expressed confidence in the electoral body’s preparedness to conduct free, transparent, and credible by-elections. He stated, “Yes, we are 100 percent ready confidently for the by-elections on Saturday. Those who were successfully nominated will be on the ballot. Polling stations and command centres are also all in place. Distribution of ballot papers should start today or first thing tomorrow morning.”

Ambassador Kiwa emphasized the importance of peace in the electoral process, urging political parties and voters to maintain a peaceful environment before, during, and after the polls. He emphasized that the negation of peace would undermine the purpose of holding the elections and democracy at large.

“The bottom line is that we appeal to all participating political parties, individuals and voters to remain peaceful. I think that is what is most important because we can have all the other things in place in terms of materials but if we don’t behave in a peaceful way it negates everything that we are trying to put in place and achieve.

“So that is our biggest appeal, that let’s just walk the peaceful road during this by-election,” he stated.

ZEC is also encouraging observers to be accredited so they can inspect the polls. Ambassador Kiwa said, “Accreditation is also going on well. In fact we encourage as many observers as possible to participate during the elections.”

The by-elections were triggered by the recall of three legislators and 20 councillors by the CCC’s self-imposed secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu. Although they tried to file their papers at the Nomination Court as CCC members, the High Court barred them from contesting under the CCC ticket. However, some of the recalled individuals chose to contest as independent candidates.

Among those barred from contesting in the upcoming polls are former deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba, former leader of the opposition in Parliament Amos Chibaya, and Stephen Chagwiza of Goromonzi South. Former Harare Mayor Ian Makone was also removed from the ballot papers.

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