Zimbabwe: ZEC Accredits 352 Observers

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has accredited 352 local and foreign observers for the March 26 local authorities and National Assembly by-elections with the electoral body saying everything is on course for the successful conduct of the polls.

This was said by ZEC’s chief elections officer Mr Utloile Silaigwana during a workshop with the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the level of preparedness for the elections.

Mr Silaigwana said of the 352 observers accredited as at February 28, 342 were local with the rest being foreign diplomats from local embassies.

The ZEC chief elections officer also told the committee that 76 661 new registrants had been registered while 50 486 had transferred during the registration blitz held last month.

“The figures are, however, low despite the publicity campaigns carried out by the commission,” he said.

Mr Silaigwana added that a second registration blitz would be held next month and would run concurrently with a similar campaign by the Registrar-General’s Office for people to obtain national identity documents.

On issues concerning the voters roll raised on social media by shadowy group, Team Pachedu, he said allegations had not been formally presented to ZEC in terms of the law.

“The commission is still investigating the circumstances under which an alleged national voters’ roll was issued to the said party and which alleged copy we presume is the subject of the damaging allegations which are being flighted on social media.

“The commission still insists that the copy that was furnished to the said party was released without following normal administrative procedure and undergoing the proper procedure aimed at ensuring that all its information is up to date and correct as at the date of issue,” he said.

ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba denounced acts of political violence saying perpetrators should be held accountable in terms of the law.

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