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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ZEC prepares for the February 3rd by-elections

Story by Wellington Makonese

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is working within the framework of the constitution to deliver its mandate as the electoral body prepares for by-elections set for February 3.

Six National Assembly constituencies and 23 local authority wards head into by-elections in less than a fortnight, with candidates now certain of contesting after court rulings delivered last week.
Having presided over the candidate nomination processes and the December 9 by-elections, ZEC believes it is operating within the framework of the statutory requirements, with the elections certain to be successful.

“Following the nominations courts held on 18 December 2023, 6 National Assembly seats and 28 local authority seats were contested and the High Court challenge brought changes. However, we have been following through in line with statutory requirements with the elections set to be held on the 3rd of February,” said Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chief Elections Officer, Mr Utoile Silaigwana.

Apart from fulfilling statutory demands, ZEC confirmed the removal of three National Assembly candidates and 20 local authority candidates, giving ZANU PF the lead in five uncontested local authority wards.

“Three candidates were disqualified for Phelandaba Tshabalala, Goromonzi South, and Mkoba North. In local authorities, 20 candidates were disqualified.”

The electoral board has since embarked on voter education programmes with resource mobilisation in progress.

“Accreditation of observers is open as advertised in the respective venues, the commission advises interested stakeholders to submit in time. The commission encourages the candidates, political parties, and supporters to observe the code of conduct and maintain peace.

“Most of the election materials have been mobilised for the by-elections, these include voters roll material ballot boxes vehicles, and fuel, through the voter education programs on the course the voters will be alerted on developments,” said Mr Silaigwana.

A total of 552 polling stations were expected to be set up before 23 candidates were barred from contesting, with the figure set to be revised downwards.

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