By- The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has raised a red flag against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) after discovering that it altered his party symbols on ballot papers to be used in the 26 March by-election.
CCC also lodged a complaint to ZEC over the printing of ballot papers in black and white instead of in colour, claiming this was done deliberately to confuse voters.
CCC national secretary for elections Ian Makone wrote to ZEC chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana on 21 March airing the opposition party’s grievances. Wrote Makone:
The CCC wishes to express its concern regarding the variation in its party symbol. The yellow background is not reflected on the party logo as witnessed by the party candidates during the ballot paper verification exercise.
The sample ballot paper is not an exact depiction of our party intent, hence a violation of our party identity.
It is in this regard that ZEC considers such concerns seriously and rectifies them as per the requirements of the law of the land.
Makone said CCC symbols had an inscribed description of a “yellow square background, circular words surrounding Chamisa’s face with letters CCC inside a black triangle”.
Addressing reporters in Harare on Tuesday, Makone said CCC wrote to ZEC on 24 February seeking clarity on the printing of ballot papers. He said:
What we wanted from them was an assurance that there is a process of consultation even at the local level and district multi-party liaison officer which enables us to proofread the specimen ballot papers.
They never got an opportunity to do that and only found that a number of our candidates could not even recognise the picture that is on the ballot paper. We need to know which voters roll will be in use on Saturday.
However, ZEC spokesperson Jasper Mangwana said they were not obliged to print ballot papers in colour. He said:
The law does not require the commission to print the photograph or symbol of the party in colour.
It is unfortunate that the party went on to educate its supporters without consulting with the commission on the contents and form of (the) ballot paper.