THE Lucia Matibenga-led PDP faction has claimed that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s recent move to set up an additional 1 500 polling stations was part of a wider plot to rig the upcoming general elections.
PDP spokesperson, Fortune Mlalazi yesterday said the setting up of additional polling stations was a gross violation of the Electoral Act.
“What Zec is doing is a violation of the Electoral Act. The Act says the voting is polling station-based and according to the registration process people already have polling stations where they expect to vote at and the question is where will the voters vote at those additional polling stations come from? Does it mean they will stop people from voting at their specified polling stations and direct them to the annexure polling stations?” he asked.
“This stinks of a rigging plot and Zec might be an accomplice in the vice. What they are now saying is that they have reverted to the unconstitutional ward-based polling which allowed one to vote anywhere in the ward. What is the reason of having a constitution stipulating polling station-based voting when they still revert to a point where someone may vote anywhere in the ward?”
Mlalazi said Zec should have created more polling stations during BVR period.
The additional polling stations were endorsed in the Amendments to the Electoral Act, which have since been passed by Parliament and signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, allowing Zec to set up more polling stations in highly-populated areas, instead of restricting the numbers to those used in 2013.
Zec chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba recently told a visiting Comesa election observer mission that the additional polling stations were created to reduce queues and improve efficiency during the voting process.