Special voting chaos ominous — Zesn

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THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) has said the special voting process, which ends today, is marred by serious logistical challenges countrywide.

Hazel Ndebele

In a statement released today, Zesn said the disorganisation seen in the last two days of special voting, is an indication the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) was unprepared to conduct the election.

“Zesn is seriously concerned that the chaos that prevailed during the special voting process serves as a telling and worrying indicator that could repeat itself on July 31,” read the statement.

Some of the challenges faced include the late opening of polling stations, shortage of voting materials such as indelible ink, Zec stamps, approved voters’ list, ballot papers and ballot boxes.

In Masvingo voting only started on the second day with several reports of outstanding deliveries of special voting envelopes.

Zesn observers at Seke Kunaka Clinic in Mashonaland East province reported that voting had not even commenced by lunch time on the last day of voting.

Zesn chairperson Solomon Zwana said yesterday, according to the Electoral Act section 81, special voting is supposed to take place 16 days before the harmonised elections, therefore extension of days of the special voting is a violation of the electoral act.

He said everyone who registered as a special voter has to vote by end of today.

Given the logistical flaws, Zesn said it is extremely concerned about the thousands of uniformed forces who might have been disenfranchised as the law requires all approved special vote applicants to be crossed out from the main voter’s roll before the final election date.

When the Zimbabwe Independent crew visited special voting polling stations on Monday late afternoon, voting was going on at a very slow pace.

In Mount Pleasant and Mbare, police officers looked tired and frustrated.

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