Thursday, 12 July 2018


Postal voting for the July 30 harmonised elections is underway around the country as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has dispatched ballots to all those eligible to vote under the system, the electoral body’s acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana said yesterday.

He said the absence of ZEC officials in places where postal voting was taking place was constitutional.
The Electoral Act states that postal voting is available to individuals and their spouses who are outside Zimbabwe on Government business on polling day.
Security and polling officers on duty on voting day are also eligible for postal voting.
“The postal vote process is underway,” said Mr Silaigwana.
“We have indeed dispatched some of the postal ballots not only to the police but all those who are eligible, including those in foreign missions. Since we have already dispatched some of the postal votes, we are expecting them to be casting their votes wherever they are and we are now waiting to receive back the postal votes so that we can take them to the respective polling stations.”
A ZEC schedule shows the postal vote ballots should be returned by July 16, 14 days before the polls as stipulated by the law.
Mr Silaigwana said people using postal vote also do so in secret.
MDC-Alliance Mr Tendai Biti yesterday rushed to convene a press conference after gathering that some members of the police who will be on duty on the polling day were voting in Bulawayo.
Meanwhile ZRP commander for this year’s harmonised elections Senior Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza allayed fears of vote rigging by police officers saying only those on duty on voting day qualified for postal voting.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to set the record straight and allay fears of vote rigging by police officers as claimed in some social media messages which are circulating,” he said.
“The correct position is that some police officers will be performing security duties in other provinces which are not their normal work stations. Thus in terms of Section 72 of the Electoral Act, the concerned police officers will exercise their right to vote through a postal ballot system which is being administered by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.”
He said provinces like Bulawayo had excess manpower.
The excess staff would be deployed in Matabeleland North province.
“In fact the total number of police officers who applied for the postal ballot does not go beyond 4 000,” said Snr Ass Comm Makodza.
“The rest of police officers will actually cast their ballots on 30th July 2018 as earlier revealed by the ZRP Command and ZEC in numerous meetings and workshop briefings. The whole process is conducted according to Section 75 of the Electoral Act, Chapter 2:13.” Herald


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