The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is now awaiting delivery of the ballot papers and indelible ink to be used in the July 30 harmonised elections, as the election management body gears for the plebiscite.
Training of 130 000 election officers is also underway, with those who will man nomination courts already equipped for the task.
Negotiations with an unnamed supplier of ballot paper and indelible ink were finalised last week, while the company that will print the ballot papers was identified last month.
ZEC says it will issue details of the companies involved for public verification before the elections, as is required by the law.
Both companies were identified by ZEC in liaison with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) through a direct tender.
ZEC acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana said the printing of ballot papers will be done locally.
“The procurement of ballot paper for the forthcoming elections was done and the delivery is expected soon. Printing will be done locally,” he said.
Addressing a press conference recently, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the company that will supply ballot paper and indelible ink was scouted from the region.
In terms of Section 52A of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], the commission is required to disclose information on procurement and printing of ballot papers to all political parties and candidates contesting an election, including to all observers.
The law also obliges ZEC to release figures of the total numbers of ballot papers printed and distributed at each polling station.
Mr Silaigwana said the “information will be availed to the public in due course”.
It is believed that ZEC will only be able to determine the number of ballot papers after the nomination court sits on Thursday.
“The nomination process will reveal which constituencies and wards will be contested and which ones will not,” he said.
In order to ensure a smooth electoral process, training of key personnel has been ongoing, ZEC said.
“Training for nomination courts and voter education officers was conducted in preparation for the sitting of the nomination courts on 14 of June 2018. Further training for constituency elections officers, presiding officers and polling officers will be conducted soon thereafter. Approximately 130 000 electoral officers will be required for this election,” said Mr Silaigwana.
ZEC is presently cleaning UP the voters’ roll, after which the commission will release the final voters’ roll.
It is understood that the election management body has decided not to prosecute individuals who intentionally registered more than once at different polling stations, but has decided to strongly reprimand them.
Added Mr Silaigwana: “(We) did not take any measures against those who were engaged in the practice apart from educating them against such conduct. It is an offense in terms of Section 37 (2) (f) of the Electoral Act for a person to apply for registration when he or she knows that they had already registered. In future, the commission will consider whether or not to report such cases to the police for investigations.”
He also maintained that the provisional voters’ roll is available online.
“The link exists on www.zec.org.zw. A voter can access his or her details on the voters’ roll using it. Using ID credentials, one can access one’s or other people’s details on the voters’ roll.
“What stakeholders cannot do is to download a copy of the roll from the website using the same method as most mistakenly believed,” he said.