Harare (New Ziana) – Postal voting will not apply in the March 26 parliamentary and local government by-elections, but officials who will be on duty, and are eligible to vote, will be facilitated to cast their ballots at their respective polling stations, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has said.
According to the Electoral Act, people entitled to vote by post are registered voters who, on polling day, will be unable to vote at their polling station for reasons including that they will be on duty as members of the security services or as electoral officers.
Others include those who will be outside Zimbabwe on government duty, normally as diplomatic or consular officials or because they are married to such an official.
In an interview with New Ziana, Zec spokesperson Joyce Kazembe said deployments for the elections would likely be such that security and polling officials who might need to vote are deployed within or near their constituencies so that they can vote on the day in the course of discharging their duties.
“Police officers, like the polling officers and the political party agents, if they are at the right place where their voters roll is then, of course, they will be allowed to vote,” she said.
“If they are close to their polling station, they can always be transported to the polling station to vote. We do not have pre-voting, so if they are at the polling station where they are registered to vote they will vote, if it is somewhere near they can be facilitated to go and vote but if it is completely different areas then we are sorry. Everybody is voting at the polling station where they registered, we just pray they will be deployed in areas where they can access their polling stations.”
Zimbabwe is preparing for by-elections in 28 parliamentary constituencies and over 100 council wards.
Kazembe, however, said the postal vote would be available in next year’s general elections.
“For the 2023 elections certainly there will be postal voting, but for these by-elections there is nothing,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kazembe said preparations for the by-elections, to replace legislators and councillors who died or were recalled by their political parties, were on course.
“The preparations are going on well, we will be on time definitely. I am going now to my province to Mashonaland West to actually see what is on the ground but in terms of preparations, in terms of ballot papers and other preparations, so far we will be on time,” she said.
“In terms of the printing of ballot papers, I do not know whether they have started yet but you can be sure there will be ballot papers on polling day.”