Harare (New Ziana) – Voting in Saturday’s by-elections started off on a slow note in Harare, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission enforcing strict Covid-19 health guidelines including mandatory temperature checks and hand sanitisation on every voter.
The by-elections had been delayed due to the global pandemic.
A total of 12 Parliamentary seats are being contested in the capital including Harare Central, Epworth, Harare East, Kuwadzana East and Mufakose.
In Harare East, where the main contenders are Zanu PF’s Mavis Gumbo and Citizens Coalition for Change’s Tendai Biti, voters were trickling into polling stations at a slow pace.
At Queen Elizabeth High school polling Station for example, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials told New Ziana that while all had started off smoothly a few people were turning out to vote.
They said they were anticipating a flawless day, and that numbers would pick up during the day.
Election observers who were manning the station expressed concern over the low numbers, highlighting that massive voter education was needed to encourage people to vote.
“Everything started off well but we are a bit concerned about the numbers. People do not seem interested in voting,” a local observer who requested anonymity said.
“We have a lot of work to do as a country to encourage people to vote, because as it is almost an hour after the polling Station opened but look there are no people here.”
In Harare Central, where Zanu PF candidate Loice Magweba is one of the candidates, the situation was also the same.