The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission hereby notifies the general public that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Honourable Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has issued out a proclamation for the 2018 Harmonised elections in terms of Section 144 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and has fixed Monday the 30th day of July 2018 as the day a poll shall be taken in respect of Presidential, National Assembly and Local Authority elections.
The President has also fixed the 14th of June 2018 as the date that the nomination courts shall sit to receive nominations for candidates in respect of Presidential, National Assembly and local authority elections in terms of Section 38 of the Electoral Act which states that the nomination courts must sit at least 14 days and not more than 21 days after the said proclamation.
The proclamation follows the gazetting of the Electoral Amendment Act into law and the subsequent gazetting of the existence of a notice on the existence of a new Voters Roll.
The salient features incorporated in the Electoral Amendment Act include among others:
Amendment of section 22A of the Electoral Act to allow the Commission to establish more polling stations for an area that has a large voter population (this will speed up polling on voting day);
Amendment of section 32 of the Electoral Act on the removal of duplicates to bring it in conformity with the processes brought about by the introduction of biometric voter registration;
Amendment of Section 126 of the Electoral Act on the withdrawal of candidates to remove the cumbersome process of deleting the name of the withdrawing candidate from the ballot paper. Late withdrawals have a logistic and financial impact, as the law mandates the Commission to delete, from the ballot paper, the name of any candidate who withdraws when such withdrawal has been made after the ballot paper has already been printed;
Amendment of Section 59 of the Electoral Act on assisted voters to allow visually impaired voters to be assisted to vote by a person of their choice without the Presiding Officer necessarily being present.
Amendment of Section 26A of the Electoral Act, registration of voters now close two (2) days after proclamation. It therefore means that the registration of voters for the purposes of the 2018 Harmonised elections shall close on 1 June 2018. However those that are going to register after the cut-off date will be considered for future elections.
The Electoral Act now incorporates the widened Code of Conduct in terms of its scope and the persons that are to be bound by the Code. The persons that are bound by the Code now include political parties and their members, supporters, candidates, organisations and associations that formally or informally conduct political activities such as traditional leaders, security and law enforcement officials, public servants and civil society organisations. In terms of its content, it covers among others, issues of public conduct, politically motivated violence and intimidation, other prohibited conduct and the expected conduct during polling and announcement of results.
The Proclamation means we are now officially into the election period. It also means that the Commission can firm up on its election roadmap dates.
Prospective candidates are now free to collect nomination forms from ZEC offices or download them on ZEC website www.zec.org.zw and submit them on or before the nomination court day.
In conclusion I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Zimbabweans for their continued support to the electoral processes in this country particularly the just ended Provisional Voters` Roll inspection where everyone had access to the Provisional Voters` Roll either through the USSD code *265# or the SMS platform or the web based inspection link or by physically visiting the inspection centres. The Commission urges the public to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during this period.
I Thank You