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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Centre for Electoral Democracy Trust Press Statement

Zimbabwe took to the polls on the 23rd August 2023 in the Harmonised Elections to elect a President, Members of Parliament and Local Authority Councillors.

The polls were however extended to the 24th of August 2023 following delays by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) in distributing ballot papers to several polling stations.

As an accredited Local Observer Mission, the Centre for Electoral Democracy Trust (CEDT) wishes to make its pronouncements regarding the conduct of the elections.

General
The CEDT Observer Mission noted that the mood of the voters across the country was generally peaceful and upbeat with highlighted incidents of violations.

Noted Violations
CEDT noted the incidence of inter-party skirmishes where alleged Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members aggressively confronted ZANU PF officials conducting exit poll surveys at polling stations in Bikita and Norton.

These surveys were being conducted beyond the 300m boundary from the polling station regulation.

The confrontations have been roundly condemned as an interference in intra-party processes which are not in violation of the Electoral Act nor the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) regulations and guidelines.

There were also reported cases of political violence in Mt Darwin and
Muzarabani. We hope law enforcement authorities will take appropriate action.

Also noted is the arrest of 41 suspects by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on allegations of engaging in subversive and criminal activities related to the yet to be announced Presidential election results.

Logistical Delays
CEDT also notes the delays in the opening of some polling stations beyond the 0700 hours starting time.

We also note that ZEC has since acknowledged the delays in the distribution of ballot papers and duly made an adjustment to the closing times to compensate for the delays and maintain the 12-hour polling timeframes.

Voter Turn Out
CEDT has also noted that voter turnout across the country was generally high.

This bears testimony to an election environment in which citizens are able to exercise their democratic rights as constitutionally provided for.

Announcement of Results
We are satisfied with the timeous publishing of results for Presidential, National Assembly and Local Authority by ZEC at each polling station after going through the necessary processes and in the presence of all contestants or their polling agents.

Conclusion
CEDT now awaits the final count and announcement of outstanding results for the Presidential, National Assembly and Local Authority elections by the electoral management body, ZEC. CEDT further exhorts Zimbabweans to maintain the prevailing peace, orderliness and unity of purpose in the 2023 Harmonised Elections thus far.

Issued by:

Dr. Lawrence Mhandara

DIRECTOR – RESEARCH & COMMUNICATIONS

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