Chasi Slams Chamisa Over Demands To Supervise Printing Of Ballots
3 August 2023
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Fortune Chasi Condemns Opposition’s Demand to Supervise Ballot Printing

In a controversial statement, Zanu PF Deputy Secretary for Legal Affairs and Mazowe South legislator, Fortune Chasi, has criticized the opposition CCC (Coalition for Change) for their demands to witness the printing of ballot papers in Zimbabwe. Minister Chasi referred to these demands as “bizarre and unreasonable,” stating that such a practice is unprecedented globally.

The opposition CCC has been vocal about their desire to be present during the printing of ballot papers, arguing that it would allay fears of potential ballot stuffing and ensure a fair electoral process. However, Chasi dismissed these demands, citing that they have never been implemented in any country and were even ridiculed during international discussions.

During a recent radio program, “Muriro on Monday” on Star FM, Minister Fortune Chasi stated, “One of the things that I learnt was that regrettably some of the requests and demands (by the opposition) were unreasonable. If you recall, there was a demand that the printing process must be done in the presence of political parties. That has never happened. I was in Geneva last year with colleagues from other political parties. People from other countries actually laughed off at that request.”

The issue of electoral transparency has been a contentious topic in Zimbabwe, especially following the 2018 elections when legislators from different parties were taken to the printers by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to witness the ballot printing process.

In response to Minister Chasi’s remarks, the CCC’s Mutare Central MP, Mr Innocent Gonese, argued that the “whipping system” employed by political parties stifles democracy and open debate. He expressed concerns about Section 129 of the Constitution, which allows a political party to recall an MP without specific criteria, potentially leading to the suppression of opposing voices.

In light of the recent controversy surrounding CCC’s failure to submit nomination papers for 12 candidates in Bulawayo, which were subsequently nullified by the High Court, Minister Chasi took the opportunity to defend Zanu PF’s approach to candidate nomination. He emphasized the party’s well-organized structure and early preparation, ensuring that all candidates meet the necessary requirements and deadlines.

The debate over electoral reforms and transparency is likely to continue, with the opposition CCC pushing for greater involvement and oversight in the electoral process. Meanwhile, Minister Fortune Chasi has urged continued engagement between political parties to enhance the electoral legal framework.

As Zimbabwe moves forward, it remains to be seen how the government and opposition will find common ground on this crucial matter to ensure the credibility and integrity of future elections in the country.- state media