All systems go for Zimbabwe elections

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Zimbabweans go to the polls in a week to elect Council, Parliamentary and Presidential leaders for the next five years. Many local and foreign election observers are now in the country to observe the electoral process.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) briefed observers in Harare on the electoral process and challenges it had faced so far.

The Commission has accredited more than 3 500 local observers, over 130 foreign observers, more than 370 local journalists – but only 15 foreign journalists.

Former Zambian Vice President, Nevers Mumba, will head the SADC Observer Mission.

The ZEC believes it’s ready to deliver free and credible elections on August 23rd.

The Commission’s Chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba, has assured observers from various world bodies that most of the logistical arrangements are now in place and there is nothing to stop the elections from going ahead.

“The Commission has procured all essential electoral materials and has delivered 80% of them to provinces under police escort under guard. I would like to inform you that the Commission is ready to conduct the 2023 harmonised elections and I would like to appreciate our Ministry of Finance for really funding almost 100% of our requirements. I stand before you as chairperson of ZEC, I would like to assure you that we have everything in place be it legal, social or any other requirement and we are eager to conduct a free, fair and credible election.”

Countdown to Zimbabwe’s general elections has begun

The Commission revealed that it has approved 17 000 postal votes out of more than 18 000 applications.

Furthermore, the Commission has been forced to delay the printing of ballot papers owing to numerous court challenges contesting the decisions of the nomination court.

Chigumba adds, “In terms of the constitution of Zimbabwe, there is no provision of the postponement of the election. That’s why all these dates are fixed. We proceed in terms of fixed timelines. And if ever there is anything that would necessitate a postponement of the election it would require an order of the apex court of this country to allow us to postpone elections. Only an act of God such as a pandemic can stop an election.”

About 6.6 million people have been registered to vote by the Commission for this year’s election in Zimbabwe.

Eleven candidates are contesting the presidential poll and 582 candidates are vying for the 280 National Assembly seats.