Chaos continues in Harare Central special voting

Chaotic scenes which characterised the opening of the special ballot in Harare continued throughout the day.

At the polling stations at Town House and at Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare the story was the same. Scores of police officers were seen milling around the centres waiting for their ballot papers to arrive from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Garikai Manyanga, the Constituency Elections Officer for Southerton told The Zimbabwean at Mai Musodzi that the papers were coming at a trickling pace from ZEC.

“The papers have to come from ZEC. The delays maybe are because of the process of finding the respective ballots for each and every voter. As you know they are coming from different constituencies and different wards. So you have to find the ballot paper for the constituency and the ward and bring them together put them in an envelope and then send them to the polling station,” Manyanga said.

He said that process had started some time before polling day but had spilt over into the polling day.

This has brought into question ZEC’s preparedness for this election. One ballot paper meant to go to Zvimba was discovered at Town House.

The commission has always maintained that it was ready to conduct the poll. According to an official from one of the parties ballot papers for places as far as Bulawayo were seen at the ZEC command centre in Harare in the afternoon today.

Special voting ends tomorrow at 7 pm.

“We are hopeful that we will complete the process by 7 pm tomorrow because the number that we have is manageable. We are expecting about 700 voters at this polling station and we can cover that in one day so given two days we are confident that we can finish,” Manyanga said.

He said the people who were still at the centre were waiting for their papers.

“I think we are just above 100 people who have received their ballot papers and voted. If the papers are here the voting process itself does not take time,” Manyanga said. He said the atmosphere had been good.

“All we are waiting for is the arrival of the papers. We will close at 7.20 pm because we want to allow 12 hours of continuous voting since we opened at 7 20 am,” Manyanga said.

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