The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has released a 115-page March 26 By-Elections report which shows that the elections body did abide by Section 21 of the Electoral Act which stipulates that candidates must be provided with copies of the electronic voters’ roll, contrary to claims by opposition elements that the voters’ roll wasn’t availed to contesting parties.
There were 1 990 polling stations across the country with Harare having the highest number of 724 followed by Midlands which had 281.
Manicaland had 190, Masvingo 178, Bulawayo 167, Matabeleland North 144, Mashonaland West 82, Matabeleland South 29 and Mashonaland Central had 24.
There were 1 991 local and foreign observers including journalists observing the elections of which 1 719 were local observers, 75 foreign and 193 and four local and foreign journalists respectively.
There were 118 National Assembly by-elections and 370 local authority by-elections.
Zec is an election management body established in terms of section 238 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Its main function is to prepare for, conduct and supervise all elections and referendums in Zimbabwe and to ensure that those elections are conducted efficiently and in accordance to the law.
According to the Zec report, the voters’ rolls for the national assembly by-elections were closed on January 8 this year, two days after the publication of the proclamation in line with the provisions of Section 26A of the Electoral Act.
“The Commission was able, before polling day, to clean, update and print the constituency and ward voters’ rolls and to print two copies each for the polling stations. In many instances where both the national assembly constituencies and the local authority wards were vacant, both copies of the voters’ rolls were printed and used in PDF format, after proofreading and quality control checks.
“A display voters’ roll (one without photos) was issued to each polling station to enable the electorate to check their names prior to the polling day.
“The Commission also provided electronic copies of the voters roll to candidates in line with provisions of Section 21 (6) of the Electoral Act. Further copies of the electronic voters’ rolls were provided to candidates and stakeholders upon request,” reads part of the report by the elections management body.
Section 21(6) states that: “Within a reasonable period of time after nomination day in an election, the Commission shall provide— (a) free of charge, to every nominated candidate, one copy in electronic form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated; and (b) at the request of any nominated candidate, and on payment of the prescribed fee, one copy in printed form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated.” —Chronicle