Saturday 26 March 2022


VOTING across the country in parliamentary and ward by-elections was held yesterday with the nation, again conducting peaceful polls.

In Bulawayo, heavy rains that started in the morning in most parts of the city seemed to have kept many voters indoors with Sunday News observing a low turnout at some polling stations.

Polling stations opened at around 7 am and closed at 7 pm across the country. Polling officers said counting started immediately after the closing of polling stations and some results might start trickling in today.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) provincial elections officer for Bulawayo, Mr Innocent Ncube, said there was a low turnout due to the weather.

“The polling stations opened on time, but the turnout was very low largely because of the weather since it has been raining for the better part of the day, particularly in the morning.

Just when we thought that the numbers would improve in the afternoon it started raining again. When I moved around the polling stations, people were utilising the voters’ roll to check for their names before queuing to vote.” Mr Ncube said a majority of people who were turned away were those who went to wrong wards.

“In terms of those who were turned away the number is very high. Mostly it was those who went to the polling stations thinking it was everyone who was going to vote in the ward yet in actual fact, those allowed to vote are those who registered at the time the voters’ roll was prepared.

Those who had registered or not transferred into that particular ward by then were not permitted to vote. We had some people coming to the polling stations thinking they would take chances, but they were turned away.

The number of those who went to wrong polling stations and were redirected was quite high and it was around 700,” he said.

Mr Ncube said they also noted that a majority of people were not familiar with the new phenomenon of the voters’ roll being displayed outside the polling station.

“We expect results from the polling stations for local authority by 10 pm tonight and then they will move to the ward collation centres where it will again depend on the polling stations.

If the ballot papers arrive on time, they will be able to finish early. For the national assembly, the V11s (forms) will be pasted at the polling stations while at the ward collation centres the V23A (forms) must be pasted outside with the V23B (forms) being pasted at the constituencies so that the public can be able to go and scrutinise them.

Each of those papers must be signed by the polling agents and acknowledge the outcome from that particular station. We are working with the police and so far there are no incidents of violence reported in the elections.”

In Pumula, Sunday News observed that voting kicked off on a slow note with ZEC statistics in some polling stations showing that less than 20 people had cast their votes in the first two hours after polling stations opened.

In the Nkulumane Constituency, at Mncumbatha Secondary School the presiding officer said the voters roll which was displayed for the public was washed away by the heavy rains on Friday night. However, that did not disburb the process as another voters roll was available inside the polling station.

At some polling stations, prospective voters were turned away for having wrong identification particulars with some who were intending to use drivers’ licenses, political party membership cards and photocopies of identity documents, which were not allowed at polling stations.

At Mahlabezulu Primary School A tent polling station, in Tshabalala 156 people had voted by 2pm, three who were not on voters’ roll had been turned away.

However, a large number of the elderly constituted voters that were assisted to cast their votes by police details and ZEC officials in the various polling stations.

The elderly voters were assisted mainly because of visual impairments and illiteracy. At JB Centre in Thorngrove, 84 people had voted as at 3pm.

The presiding officer Mr Sheunopa Mutsikiwa said the voting proceedings went on well although they had to redirect some people who were coming to the JB Centre instead of going to the Thorngrove Tent which was close by.

In Bulawayo, the by-elections were for two MPs in Nkulumane and Pumula and for Wards 17, 19, 20, 22, 23 and 27. The seats fell vacant mainly due to recalls because of power struggles within the opposition political party, while a few came up due to deaths.


In the Midlands province, there were five National Assembly seats and 11 local authority seats that had by- elections. The five National Assembly seats are Gokwe Central, Kwekwe Central, Kwekwe-Mbizo, Mberengwa South and Mkoba.

In Gweru, the voting process started well in Mkoba Constituency but was characterised by voter apathy in most polling stations in the first hours of the morning.

At Bumburwi Primary School polling station in Mkoba one suburb, the highest age group of voters was 40-44 years, followed by 35-39 years and turnout was at less than 40 percent by mid-day. ZEC chairperson, Justice Priscila Chigumba was in the Midlands capital monitoring the by-election.

She visited the Mkoba Constituency Command Centre which is at Mkoba Teachers College where collation of results was to take place.

Mkoba Constituency by- elections had four candidates vying for the National Assembly seat namely Mr Albert Chadoka (MDC A) Mr Amos Chibaya (CCC), William Gondo (Zanu PF) and Malvern Zihapa (Federation of African States).

There was also the Gweru municipality Ward two by election pitting Mr Josiah Makombe (CCC), Mr Patson Chingwaru (MDC T) and Cde Edgar Shoko.


In Kwekwe District voting also went well for two parliamentary seats and five wards. Elections were also observed in Zibagwe Rural Disrict Council seats.

Voting in the town went well, according to district elections officer Mr Assan Mkwananzi. There was however, a skirmish at Fitchlea Primary School polling station where a “drunk man” closed the gate claiming the voting process had ended, thereby scaring some potential voters away. He was however, arrested and voting continued peacefully.


In Binga North constituency, Binga District Elections Officer Mr Pinos Buligwamanu said voting in the 68 polling Stations of the 15 wards in Binga North constituency was conducted in a peaceful environment with all polling stations opening at 7am and closing at 7pm without any major incidents.

He said the turnout was impressive with one polling Station having over 300 voters by 7am. Mr Buligwamanu said the counting of votes started around 7:30pm in all polling stations after the closing of voting at 7pm, with results expected to be announced today.

“We have ensured that we have enough vehicles with adequate fuel to provide transport to the command centre at Binga centre.

For now we expect the results to be announced by 9am on Sunday because our furthest polling Station is 160 kilometers from the command centre and therefore the results might be delayed but everything is progressing well thus far,” he said.

Polling Stations visited by Sunday News in the constituency saw largely long queues with voters waiting patiently to cast their vote.

Zanu-PF candidate for Binga North, Cde Kudakwashe Munsaka said he was happy with the voting process thus far, saying that the voter turn out was impressive.

He however, complained over Citizens Coalition for Change Candidate, Mr Prince Dubeko Sibanda who he said had caused commotion at one of the polling Stations in Kombo.

“I am happy thus far, the process is smooth sailing, people came in their numbers, where I voted from in Kalongo people actually slept at the polling station, even in other areas people came in their numbers.

However, I have a complaint regarding the CCC candidate, Prince Dubeko Sibanda who I am told was confrontational at Kombo polling station, and even attempted to force his way into the polling station, he even attempted to attack one of our party youths in the process,” said Cde Muntsaka.


By 10 am, little to no activity was at Gandisa Polling Station in Tsholotsho South, same as at Mbamba Business Centre, Ward 15 where there were no queues, while a trickle of voters was observed in Matshudula Primary School in Ward 12.

However, by midday at Dinyane Primary in Ward 15, Tsholotsho South, a total of 175 people had cast their votes, with 145 females and 30 males choosing candidates of their choice.

Seven people were turned away and of those four were and females three were male. The numbers of voters picked up later in the day. Of note was the parliamentary contest for Tsholotsho South.

Victoria Falls

In Victoria Falls, by-elections were being held in ward one and ward six. Ward one had two candidates, Cde Tonderai Mutasa of Zanu-PF and Mr Christopher Ndiweni of CCC.


Voting also progressed well with officials saying no major incidences were reported. The number of voters however, improved as the day progressed.


There was a low turnout at Gwanda High School polling station in Gwanda’s Ward 7. According to the presiding officer Mrs Bonisiwe Mlilo, as at 10am, only 12 males and 19 females had cast their vote out of 155 registered voters.

Five males were turned away as they did not appear on the voter’s roll while five voters were redirected to other polling stations.

The presiding officer at Jahunda Pre-School polling station in Gwanda’s Ward 7 Mr Olerato Makhurane said voting went on smoothly.

Out of the 386 registered voters, only 14 males and 27 females had voted by 10 am. Five voters were turned away, one for using an expired passport while the other four did not appear on the voter’s roll.

At Zaoga Church Tent polling station, Ward 7, Gwanda voters were trickling in from morning. Mr Nkosilamandla Siziba, the presiding officer, said they did not experience any logistical challenges although a number of people had been turned away as they did not appear on the voters’ roll. He said they had registered to vote after the cut-off date. The number of voters however, improved as the day progressed.


There was fair voter turnout at polling stations under Beitbridge Municipality ward 4. Beitbridge’s acting District Elections Officer, Mr Adrian Muyambo said the election process went on smoothly from morning and that they had not recorded any untoward incidents at all the 11 polling stations in Wards 4 and 5 (Beitbridge Municipality). The number of voters also improved as the day progressed.

Matabeleland South ZEC provincial elections officer Mr Rabson Nyoni said there was a low turnout in most wards which was induced by rains which fell in most areas yesterday. Voting took place in Insiza, Umzingwane, Gwanda, and Beitbridge districts Sunday News


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