THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has succumbed to pressure and will now allow political parties to observe the printing of ballot papers as demanded by opposition parties.
Addressing journalists yesterday, Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said the decision to allow parties to observe the printing of ballot papers fell within their mandate and, hence, they decided to allow parties to be part of.
She, however, refused to grant another request for political parties to be involved in the procurement of the ballot papers.
Opposition parties have demanded electoral reforms that allow them to be involved in the procurement of the ballot papers and also oversee their printing as a measure to promote transparency.
“We have taken a decision as a commission that we will certainly do that and that is something within our purview, our mandate, our discretion,” Chigumba said.
“We have already exercised our discretion in favour of allowing that to happen and all that is left is for us to engage all the stakeholders and not just the political parties and work out the modalities for doing that.
“We said, as a commission, that we can do because we don’t need legislative framework, but with regards to procurement, there is existing legislation framework in place, which we must follow unless and until the legislative framework is changed.”
On procurement, Chigumba said the matter had to be taken to lawmakers and make it part of policy.
“This is an issue for the legislature to decide. It is not an issue where Zec has a mandate to change the law with regards to a demand made by one political party,” she said.
“It is my considered view that the political party involved must take those views to Parliament and try to get them part of the law. What we have said, as Zec, is that we simply follow the law and guided by the present law.”
The inspection of the provisional voters’ roll begins today and ends on May 29.
Chigumba said voters must check if their details were correctly captured so anomalies can be corrected.
Of the 5,4 million registrants, Chigumba said there are 11 018 registrants on the exclusion list, a list of registrants who could not be on the provisional voters’ roll for various reasons such as multiple registrations and sharing of the same ID number, among others.