HomePoliticsZesn wants 6 500 poll observers accredited

Zesn wants 6 500 poll observers accredited

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) has applied for the accreditation of 6 500 election observers for the March 31 poll.

etica, sans-serif”>Zesn director, Rindai Chipfunde, said although her oganisation had also applied for the registration of monitors, it was not sure of the number of polling stations.

“We are also concerned that we do not know the number of polling stations and where they will be located. Also we do not have the map for the delimitation boundaries. Even voters do not know where the boundaries start and finish,” Chipfunde said.

“We applied for 6 500 observers to be accredited and we are still waiting for government’s response.”

Speculation has been rife that there would be 9 000 polling stations in the country. New polling rules stipulate that voting should be conducted in one day, which means there must be more polling stations.

The scarcity of polling stations in Harare and Bulawayo in the presidential election in 2002 resulted in thousands of people failing to cast their votes despite an extension of the voting period.

During the presidential election in 2002 Zesn had trained about 12 000 monitors and only 400 were accredited. There were about 4 600 polling stations throughout the country.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday said government was still in the process of accrediting people and organisations to observe the election.

“That is an on going process, but by the time we get to election we will know how many people have been accredited. We are working on that,” he said.

He said he didn’t know how many polling stations there would be as officials were still working the modalities of location and convenience for voters.

So far the government has invited observers from Southern African Development Community countries, the African Union and political parties from Namibia and Tanzania and some European countries.

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