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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Poll roll-out begins: Election materials dispatched
    Women's Institute for Leadership Development
    March 14, 2013

    The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it will dispatch 70 000 polling officers and supervisors to 9 449 polling stations around the country on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s constitutional referendum. ZEC acting chairperson Mrs. Joice Kazembe confirmed the move to VOA Studio 7.

    The bulk of the polling officers and supervisors, who are currently being trained, were drawn from civil servants. Election Resource Centre director Tawanda Chimhini told VOA that they are so far satisfied with ZEC's preparations.

    “The selection was done depending on the list compiled by these various departments. Those called for training were invited and it is up to the provincial election officers to use their discretion and see if there is a need to add polling officers in their province. Teachers, as we stated earlier, will be taken in where it is necessary and if the provincial election officers say they have enough numbers, then there is nothing we can do,” he said.

    Electoral materials such as indelible ink, ballot papers and ballot boxes have been dispatched to all the provinces under tight security ahead of the constitutional referendum set for this Saturday, ZEC Mrs Joyce Kazembe said in a statement.

    She hoped that the situation would remain calm and that the referendum would be conducted without any hinderances. ZEC has reduced its budget for the referendum from US$85 million to US$58 million and Treasury has so far released US$31, 5 million.

    The commission has said it would pay polling officers 30 % of their allowances with immediate effect and deposit the balance into their respective bank accounts at the completion of the exercise. Mrs Kazembe said the electoral body had recruited polling officers from lists they obtained from various civil service departments, local authorities and parastatals.

    Meanwhile, some residents in Bulawayo say they are yet to lay their hands on the Draft Charter. Miss Nkosilomusa Bhebhe a resident from Pumula South said she only sees adverts on ZTV about the referendum which says people should vote yes. She said COPAC should have put a mechanism in place to cater for the elderly and vulnerable groups.

    Godfrey Siziba, another resident, said although he has heard family and friends discuss the draft, he has not been able to access a copy. He added that what he knows is based on hearsay and that he should vote yes. “I am just going to vote yes because I have been told the new constitution is good and more democratic than the old one but I honestly do not know the contents of the document.” He said.

    The visually impaired have been excluded from accessing the draft constitution following reports that only 200 braille copies were circulated nationwide.

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