72 000 voters for next week’s by-elections

Kudakwashe Ruwende Herald Reporter
More than 72 000 people have registered to vote in next week’s by-elections in Mt Darwin West and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituencies, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) yesterday expressing its readiness to hold the polls. As such, ZEC has printed 76 200 ballot papers for the March 27 elections.ZEC acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana told The Herald that preparations for the by-elections were almost complete as most of the crucial processes had been done.

“A total of 76 200 ballot papers have been printed, that is 37 700 ballot papers for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency, and 38 500 ballot papers for Mt Darwin West constituency,” he said.

“When the pilot registration ended recently, Chirumanzu-Zibagwe had 35 827 registered voters, while Mt Darwin West had 36 634 registered voters.”

ZEC established 142 registration and voters roll inspection centres for the two by-elections.

“The commission established 83 fixed centres, and three mobile centres in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency, and 49 fixed centres in Mt Darwin West constituency for the registration and voters’ rolls inspection exercise,” said Mr Silaigwana.

“After the production of the provisional voters’ rolls, the commission established 27 fixed centres for voters’ roll inspection in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency, and 14 fixed voters’ roll inspection centres in Mt Darwin West constituency.”

Mr Silaigwana said training and deployment of electoral officers would take place between March 20 and 24 in readiness for the polls.

He said ballot papers were a security matter and would be distributed just before the elections.

In Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa of zanu-pf will battle it out against Mr Gadzamoyo Dhewa of Good People Movement, Mr Munashe Mutodza of the National Constitutional Assembly, Ms Abigail Musambasi of Transform Zimbabwe and Mr Willbroad Kanoti an independent candidate.

In Mt Darwin West, zanu-pf candidate Cde Barnwell Seremwe will contest against Kenard Fungai of Transform Zimbabwe, Mr Cyril Muradzi of the Freedom Front of Zimbabwe, and National Constitutional Assembly’s Mr Reuben Mafigu.

The Chirumanzu-Zibagwe seat fell vacant after the elevation of Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa to the post of Vice President, while that of Mt Darwin West automatically became vacant when former Vice President Joice Mujuru assumed the post of VP.