ZEC Prepares for Elections with 150,000 Officers | CAN THEY BE TRUSTED?
16 August 2023
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In preparation for the upcoming harmonized elections on August 23, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced that approximately 150,000 electoral officers will be deployed to the country’s 12,370 identified polling stations. Citizens will cast their votes for the next President, members of the House of Assembly, and councillors, aligning with the country’s Constitution.

Commissioner Rodney Kiwa, the ZEC deputy chairperson, confirmed that this comprehensive figure includes presiding, polling, and constituency election officers. The deployment of these officers aims to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.

In a move to facilitate the election process, the Treasury has approved forex allowances for the electoral officers. These officers, primarily civil servants, are contracted by the ZEC and are paid through the Salary Services Bureau (SSB). This encompasses roles such as constituency election officers, presiding officers, and polling officers.

ZEC’s recently released polling stations schedule, managed by Chief Elections Officer Mr. Utloile Silaigwana, details the distribution of polling stations across various provinces. Notably, Bulawayo metropolitan province will host 434 polling stations across 29 wards and 12 constituencies. Meanwhile, Matabeleland North will feature 918 polling stations, catering to 197 wards and 13 National Assembly seats. Matabeleland South, which underwent boundary changes in 2022, now accommodates 709 polling stations across its 168 wards.

According to Section 51 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13), constituency election officers are tasked with establishing polling stations conveniently located to serve the voters of their respective constituencies. This is to ensure accessibility to all citizens, including those with physical disabilities.

Bulawayo’s polling station distribution is highlighted by Cowdray Park constituency, encompassing three wards, which boasts the highest count at 43 polling stations. On the other end, Emakhandeni-Luveve constituency has the lowest count with 30 polling stations for its two wards.

Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces also display varying numbers of polling stations across different constituencies. Tsholotsho North, Binga North, Binga South, Bubi, Hwange Central, Hwange East, Hwange West, Lupane East, Lupane West, Nkayi North, and Nkayi South, among others, each have their distinct allocation of polling stations.

With these preparations in motion, Zimbabwe anticipates a smooth and inclusive voting process in the upcoming harmonized elections.- state media