By-election polling starts on time across country

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Harare (New Ziana) – Polling in parliamentary and local government by-elections across the country opened at seven o’clock in the morning on Saturday with no reported glitches.

A total of 28 constituencies and 122 wards are being contested.

But turn out was low at the majority of the polling stations, with elections officials expecting voter numbers to pick up as the day progressed.

Voters are choosing new parliamentary and local government representatives in the by-elections to replace those who either died, or were recalled or re-assigned by their parties.

Several political parties are taking part in the polls, widely seen as a dress rehearsal of next year’s crunch general elections.

Whichever party emerges dominant in the by-elections will be seen as the front runner in the 2023 elections, expected to be held around mid-year.

The ruling Zanu PF party, which currently enjoys a two-thirds majority in Parliament, is widely expected to triumph in the by-elections, riding on the back of its social and economic policies and programmes which are positively transforming the country.

Since the last general election in 2018, it has implemented deep economic reforms which have won support locally and abroad, and restored confidence in the country.

In the social sphere, the government has built new and rehabilitated old infrastructure such as roads, clinics and hospitals, schools, irritation schemes and drilled boreholes.

In campaigning ahead of the by-elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised more of these, and further economic reforms, as his administration presses forward with its target of achieving an upper middle income economy status for the country by 2030.

The by-elections had been delayed due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which has ravaged the world.

Strict Covid-19 protocols, such as sanitising, masking up and social distancing, are being observed at polling stations.
New Ziana

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