Blame it on legal challenges, ZEC says

R&M Writer

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has attributed yesterday’s logistical nightmare on court challenges in the run up to the August 24 election.

Some areas in Harare, Mutare and Bulawayo experienced delays due to late arrival of materials, inadequacy and in some cases errors on ballot papers.

In a statement late yesterday, ZEC said delays were due to legal challenges political parties lodged in the courts in the run-up to the vote.

The high profile cases included Saviour Kasukuwere whose nomination was annulled by the High Court and the Supreme Court dismissed his case on July 28. On August 8, the Constitutional Court refused to hear the case.

The cases dragged on to the preparation window when ballots should have been printed.

“Delays in the opening have largely been caused by delay in printing of the ballot paper arising from numerous Court challenges,” ZEC said.

“The public is advised that all polling stations that opened late for reasons beyond the control of the presiding officer will remain open to cater for the period of the delay, keeping in mind that the polling station must remain open for a continuous period of at least 12 hours on polling day,”

The delay in processes prompted concern from political parties, observers and voters.

Some voters, however, braved the night to cast their votes.

About 6 million voters registered to participate and a record turnout is on the cards as the election excited both old and new voters.

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