The MDC Alliance has tabled a demand that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) should ensure ballot papers for the forthcoming presidential election have names arranged in alphabetical order beginning with surnames.
This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, on Thursday successfully filed his nomination papers to contest as the ruling party’s presidential candidate in the key July 30 vote.
His papers were filed by his election agent Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
Mnangagwa’s main challenger, 40-year-old leader of the opposition MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, also successfully filed his papers with the Nomination Court. His nomination papers were filed by his election agent, Jameson Timba.
Twenty-one other opposition candidates filed their papers.
“We want to urge Zec not to break with tradition and ensure that names appear starting with surnames which means that Chamisa must be on the first page,” MDC director of elections Murisi Zwizwai told the Daily News in an interview yesterday.
“We do not expect to see a situation where the incumbent (President Emmerson Mnangagwa)’s name is on the front page seeing that there are over 20 candidates, meaning that the ballot paper will be more than one page.
“We expect to see Zec following international best practice which is what we have always done in previous elections, so we hope to engage them on that issue in the coming few days,” Zwizwai said.
If such an arrangement were to be adopted, Chamisa will appear on number two after Joseph Makamba Busha of Freezim Congress while Mnangagwa will be on position 15.
The MDC also wants to know who prints the ballot papers, where and when as well as the chemical composition and transportation of the ballot papers to and from polling stations.
“We hope the authorities take heed because we will not tolerate anything short of that,” Zwizwai said.
Meanwhile, Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba has said she was satisfied with the way the nomination process proceeded.