Peaceful polling in Mash West

Phillipa Jaja

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has reported that the people of Mashonaland West province voted peacefully yesterday.

Relaying the events of yesterday’s voting process to a state broadcaster, Mr. Shadreck Shokoto, the ZEC deputy provincial elections officer for Mashonaland West, mentioned that all went well except for minor hiccups.

“Polling stations that opened a bit late also closed a bit late to make up for the lost time. As you may know, the law prescribes a 12-hour voting period, so if time is lost, it must be compensated for. That’s exactly what happened at those polling stations that opened a bit late.

“Currently, electoral officers are diligently counting, verifying, and collating the results. We managed to close on time; I can confidently state that 99% of our polling stations adhered to the schedule, with the exception of those that opened a bit late,” he said.

Zimbabwe extended voting in selected wards by a day due to the delayed distribution of ballot papers, according to a presidential decree issued late Wednesday.

Contrary to the country’s law which stipulates that voting is supposed to take place within one day, the presidential notice was issued to cater for 40 wards it said were affected by the delays.

Although the named areas constitute less than 1% of the country’s 12,374 wards, they include 11 wards in the capital Harare, which has the highest number of registered voters.

The affected wards are in three of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces: opposition stronghold Harare, Mashonaland Central, where the ruling party is traditionally dominant, and Manicaland, which is a key battleground.

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