VOTING materials have been delivered to all polling stations countrywide for the harmonised elections taking place today.
In Harare, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) polling officers were setting up polling stations while in Bulawayo ZEC officials were also putting final touches to polling stations ahead of the voting process.
There was commotion at the Civil Registry offices in Gweru yesterday as hundreds of prospective voters with lost identity cards jostled to process new cards ahead of tomorrow’s harmonised elections.
In Manicaland, ZEC Manicaland Provincial Elections Officer, Mr Thompson Chiwereweshe, said all materials for the elections are in place and were deployed to all the 1 623 polling stations in 26 constituencies and 260 wards in Manicaland.
He said they have not encountered any logistical challenges so far and they are ready for the elections.
Generally, there is peace and tranquillity in the constituency.
Five polling agents — three from Zanu PF and two from CCC — were already at the polling station.
Presiding officers in the constituency yesterday conducted some rehearsals with the polling agents present.
“The peace and tranquillity prevailing is encouraging. Yesterday we received seals for the postal ballot box and we sealed it while the agents were present. So far we are moving around the premises to make sure that there are no posters.
“We are moving around with police officers to remove some few posters that were on the pre-cast walls around the polling station. The environment is very peaceful and all the resources like electricity and water are available,” said the presiding officer for Dangamvura Primary polling station, in Ward 8, Loice Tsverukai Njerere.
The stage has been set for tomorrow’s harmonised elections in Beitbridge district where the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has completed the deployment of polling material and officers to the 121 voting centres across the district.
These include those under the Beitbridge East, Beitbridge West and Gwanda-Tshithaudze constituencies.
The number of voting centres increased from 106 in 2018 to 121 this year owing to an increase in the number of registered eligible voters in the district.
Training of polling officers and agents ended on Saturday and the voting centres will be manned by an average of eight people who by mid-morning yesterday had completed setting up the polling stations.
The voters’ roll had been pasted outside all polling stations and campaign graffiti had been removed near the polling stations as required by the law.
Twenty one local authority wards will be contested across the district of which six will be under the Beitbridge Municipality while 15 fall under the Beitbridge Rural District Council (BBRDC).
Both the Constituency election officers for Beitbridge East and West, Mrs Josephine Siziba and Mrs Sikhangezile Mafu-Moyo said they were ready for the day and that deployment had been completed without any challenges.
Under Beitbridge East constituency, incumbent Cde Albert Nguluvhe (Zanu PF) will square off with the CCC’s Mr Renatho Ndou, in Beitbridge West Cde Thusani Masitha Ndou is contesting against, Mr Moffat Ndou (Independent) who broke away from the CCC following the fielding of CCC’s Mr Morgan Ncube.
Cde Fisani Moyo is facing a challenge from the CCC’s Mr Jaston Mazhale in the Gwanda-Tshithaudze constituency.
Election Officers in Buhera North say they are 95 percent ready for elections as most of the material has been delivered to polling stations.
At Mulena Supermarkets tent polling station in Ward 9, Buhera North, deputy presiding officer Mr Timothy Chibhadi revealed that they are expecting to receive ballot papers, indelible marking ink and the voters’ roll.
In Ward 13, Mavhare Business Centre tent polling station, recorder, Ms Jane Takaindisa said they were ready for the election as the polling officers were fully briefed and they expect to receive outstanding materials before end of day yesterday.
Voting material also arrived in all polling stations in the four constituencies around Chipinge district.
Chipinge South, Chipinge Central, Chipinge East and Mutema Musikavanhu constituencies make up the list of constituencies in Chipinge district.
Chipinge South constituency has the highest number of National Assembly candidates in the province with six candidates vying for the parliamentary seat.
Outgoing Chipinge South National Assembly member Enock Porusingazi is representing Zanu PF party in today’s election and will battle it out against Takawira Mupakati of the National Constitutional Assembly, Nelson Sithole of DUZ, Hlathwayo Clifford of CCC, two independent candidates Army Maunde, who defected from CCC after a chaotic selection process and Ronald Mlambo.
Mutema Musikavanhu Constituency has Alexander Chauke of DUZ, Angeline Gata of Zanu PF, National Constitutional Assembly’s Thomas Mudzamiri and CCC’s Sibonile Nyamudeza.
Zimbabwe Election Commission provincial election officer for Manicaland Mr Thompson Chiwereweshe told this publication that there were no challenges faced in the distribution of voting material and all is set for the crucial plebiscite.
In Masvingo all is set for voting in the harmonised elections today with ZEC announcing a glitch-free preparation period ahead of the important exercise.
ZEC provincial elections officer Mr Zex Pudurai said voting material and polling officers were now ready at the 1 416 polling stations that had been set up for voting in the province.
Davata in Chiredzi South and Sovelele in Mwenezi West were the last areas to receive voting materials yesterday owing to remoteness of the areas which hampered accessibility.
Mr Pudurai said it was now all systems go with peace and tranquillity reigning supreme as voters readied to cast their ballots.
Some of the candidates contesting in the polls were upbeat of victory.
Mr Colleen Maboke who is standing as an independent candidate in the race for the Masvingo Urban constituency seat said he was confident of victory.
Cde Wellington Mawende of Zanu PF who is also eyeing the same seat said he would wrestle the seat from the opposition.
Mr Martin Mureri of CCC also expressed optimism that he would bag the seat which was the only one won by the opposition in Masvingo province in 2018.
A first time voter, Mr Victor Neza of Hillside suburb in Masvingo was over the moon that he will vote for the first time today.
“I will surely be voting tomorrow (today) because this will be my first time to make a decision on who governs my country for the next 5 years,I cant wait for tomorrow,” said Mr Neza.
Zion Christian Church Kumuka Kuvakafa (ZCC-K) leader Bishop Lyphet Matenda Nhaudzashe said today’s vote was historic since it would be an opportunity for Zimbabweans to reaffirm their commitment to a legacy left by founding fathers of indigenous churches such as Bishops Girison Matenda, Samuel Mutendi, Johane Marange, Ezekiel Guti and others.
He paid homage to the Zanu PF Government under President Mnangagwa for creating a conducive environment for indigenous churches to worship and while also empowering them with land for income generating projects, among other things.