ELECTORAL COMMISSION READY WITH PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT PAPERS

ZIMBABWE: BALLOTS/THE HERALD/12/7/18 SABANews 1

Justice Priscilla Chigumba (Pic. The Herald)

HARARE – The ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission says it has completed printing presidential ballot papers for general elections scheduled for the 30TH of this month.

THE HERALD quotes Commissioner QHUBANI MOYO as saying they will publish the number of ballot papers printed as soon as required by the Electoral Act.

He says the voting papers were printed at the FIDELITY PRINTERS and political parties have visited the firm to see the printing process.

Mr MOYO says the Commission will soon publish the number of the ballot papers as well as the name of the printing company because the Electoral Law demands people should have that information.

The announcement amid a massive demonstration by the main opposition MDC Alliance that groups SEVEN political parties, most of them splinters from the original MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE.

Alliance Leader NELSON CHAMISA, who replaced the late MORGAN TSVANGIRAI as the President of MDC-T, has addressed his supporters in the capital, HARARE.

Other media reports say he has threatened to pre-empt what he calls the ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission vote-rigging antics by prematurely announcing results for the elections.

MDC Alliance Presidential Candidate Nelson Chamisa (Pic. The Herald)

Mr CHAMISA says his planned action aims to enable the electorate to compare the figures, although the national Constitution has placed that function on the Commission.

According to the supreme law of the land, the ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission has the sole mandated to administer all electoral processes in the country, including the printing of ballot papers.

Commission Chairperson Justice PRISCILLA CHIGUMBA says the electoral body went beyond its legal duty TWO weeks ago when invited all political parties to observe the printing of the ballot papers.

She says the Commission is supposed to procure ballot paper, design it, print it, and distribute it, without involving anyone else.

Justice CHIGUMBA has questioned if registered voters would really like their pictures and fingerprints, names and identification card numbers, telephones, and home addresses displayed in public as demanded by the MDC Alliance.

She says her organisation actually has a duty to protect the registered voters from identity thefts and all sorts of things, and it balances conflicting interests.

The final ballot register has a total of FIVE-MILLION-695-THOUSAND-706 registered voters, while the Commission has set up 10-THOUSAND-985 polling stations nationwide.

A total of 23 people have registered to compete in the 2018 ZIMBABWE Presidential race, which comes for the FIRST time without former dictator ROBERT MUGABE since independence in 1980./Sabanews/cam

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