Issue of ballot printing now water under the bridge: Thokozani Khupe

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THE Thokozani Khupe-led breakaway MDC-T has conceded that the issue of ballot printing was now water under the bridge, but said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) still had to show commitment to ensure that voters’ rights were upheld.

Zec and MDC Alliance have reached a stalemate over the issue of ballot printing and the voters’ role, with the latter threatening to conduct vigils at Zec offices until July 30 to push for the fulfilment of its demands.

Khupe’s MDC-T spokesperson Linda Masarira yesterday said her party noted with concern that Zec had already finalised the printing of ballot papers.

“As a party, we feel that the issue of the ballot paper is now water under the bridge. However, we feel that there are ways in which Zec can extricate itself from this mess by undertaking certain commitments and actions that will create some modicum of credibility considering the limited time left before the July 30 election,” she said.

Masarira, however, said Zec should provide a clear roadmap of the election process, starting with the collation of the printed ballot papers and their residue.

“The ballot paper residue or rejects must be destroyed in the presence of all stakeholders concerned,” she said.

“Zec should give a clear outline on the transportation of the ballot papers to different polling stations, including the timeline. This must also entail giving details on the mode of transport to be used and the security entailed.”

Masarira said Zec should also publicise the final number of polling stations to be used, including any additional ones and inform voters of the new centres.

“These centres should not be 500m away from the traditionally known polling stations, as published in the 2013 elections gazette,” she said

Masarira called on Zec to ensure that polling booths were placed at all polling stations 24 hours before election day and provide maximum security, while the counting of the vote should begin immediately after close of voting.

She said Zec should make sure that the collation of votes against the unused ballot papers is done expeditiously and information is transmitted to the provincial and national command centres as and when the process has been finalised.

– NewsDay


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