Sunday, 20 March 2022


IN a first for the country, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will from Tuesday display names of voters eligible to vote at particular polling stations.

The country will hold by-elections for a number of vacant seats in the National Assembly and various local authorities on Saturday. The by-elections will see 117 local authority and 28 National Assembly seats up for grabs. In the last harmonised elections voting was also polling station based but ZEC was not displaying names of voters though individual voters could check their details at selected centres before the election day.

ZEC spokesperson Commissioner Joyce Kazembe told Sunday News yesterday that as part of preparations for the weekend elections, names of people who can vote will be posted at specific polling stations.

“What will be happening now is that by Tuesday we will be posting the list of people that will be voting at the individual polling stations so people can go and view the list and they confirm that their names are there. Our aim is that each polling station caters for 1 000 voters to avoid overcrowding, so in an instance that the station has more than 1 000 voters we will then create another polling station within that polling station,” said Comm Kazembe.

She said the commission was  ready for the by-elections and printing of ballot papers was complete. Comm Kazembe said  ballot papers would soon be distributed to various command centres before their distribution to polling stations in preparation for voting day.

“In terms of staffing we have got people from the Public Service Commission and Local Government as we are mandated to engage them as polling officers. The recruitment has been done and we are satisfied.

“Tomorrow (today) we expect to have the final training of our officers including our police officers, on what will be expected of them after which they will be deployed to the various polling stations in time for the posting of the voters roll so the public can be able to view and verify where they will be voting,” she said.

Comm Kazembe said the $3 billion that had been disbursed to the organisation by government was enough for the elections and so far they had not experienced any notable challenges in the run-up to the elections. Most of the vacant seats to be contested became vacant following recalls of MDC-Alliance members following a Supreme Court verdict that Mr Nelson Chamisa illegally assumed the leadership of the opposition party. Polling in other areas has been necessitated by deaths of MPs and councillors

Matabeleland region has 20 vacant local authority seats and four National Assembly seats. Bulawayo has nine vacant council seats, Matabeleland North has five and Matabeleland South has six. Bulawayo’s seats fell vacant following the recall of eight councillors and the death of Ronnah Mudara, all from the MDC-T party while in Matabeleland North two councillors were recalled in Victoria Falls and three Zanu-PF councillors died.

In Matabeleland South, the MDC-T recalled three councillors while three Zanu-PF councillors died.

In terms of Parliament, Bulawayo has two National Assembly vacant seats after Advocate Kucaca Phulu, who was the National Assembly member for Nkulumane Constituency and Ms Sichelesile Mahlangu who represented Pumula Constituency were recalled by MDC-T.

Matabeleland North also has two Parliamentary vacant seats, Binga North and Tsholotsho South. Tsholotsho South constituency fell vacant following the death of Zanu-PF’s legislator Cde Zenzo Sibanda, who succumbed to Covid-19 in August last year, while Binga North became vacant after MDC’s Prince Dubeko Sibanda was recalled by his party early last year. There are no vacant Parliamentary seats in Matabeleland South. Sunday News




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