ZEC Complaining Over Its Own Mess
14 July 2023
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The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says a litany of court cases are exerting “a lot of pressure” on the electoral body to meet specified timelines to prepare for the August 23 polls.

Addressing election observers in the capital early this week, Zec deputy chairperson Rodney Simukai Kiwa said the electoral body had been forced to delay the printing of ballot papers because of numerous pending court cases.

“Now on the issue of the ballot paper designing and printing, section 239(G) of the Constitution gives the commission the mandate to design, print and distribute ballot papers among other functions,” Kiwa said.

“The commission has commenced the exercises of designing ballot papers for all contesting National Assembly and local authority wards as well as the presidential ballot.

“The drawback, however, as you may appreciate, is the designing of the ballot papers for those constituencies where an appeal has been lodged against the rejection and acceptance of a candidate’s papers.

“We have to live with that until the court process has been done and completed. There is nothing we can do, but it puts a lot of pressure on us in terms of meeting the timelines.

“So bear that in mind. Don’t ask us why this has not been done. It is a legal process and Zec is bound to respect the law. We hope that the legal challenge is concluded as soon as possible.”

Zec is a respondent in several court challenges where political parties are querying the June 21 nomination process.

Some presidential aspirants are not happy after their nomination papers were turned down over various reasons, while independent presidential aspirant Saviour Kasukuwere has approached the Supreme Court contesting the nullification of his candidature by the High Court.

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has filed an appeal at the Electoral Court against the nomination court’s decision to accept nomination papers for some candidates who reportedly forged signatures on their nomination forms.

In Bulawayo, 10 CCC members who were supposed to be on the provincial/metropolitan party list for council have filed an urgent court application accusing Zec of denying them a chance to submit their papers.

Zanu PF has also filed a notice to challenge a decision by Zec to accept nomination papers for opposition Bulawayo aspiring MPs after the 4pm deadline.