By Thandiwe Garusa
ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) has barred unvaccinated polling agents from accessing polling stations and banned the use of cell phones, torches and pens ahead of the Saturday by-elections in a development that has triggering an uproar from opposition parties.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) secretary for elections Ian Makoni disclosed at a press conference after their meeting with ZEC officials Tuesday.
He said they had gone for the meeting intending make inquiries on the state of the voters roll after ZEC disowned the one they had.
“We need to be assured as to which voters roll is going to be used on Saturday, they may be different versions on the voters roll because ZEC themselves issued voters roll to candidates after nomination and we assumed that those will be the voters roll for the respected wards and constituencies for the elections to be held,” Makoni said.
“Accordingly, we engaged a consultant to analyse those voters roll only to realize ZEC disowned it. ZEC must produce the voters’ roll, which will be used on Saturday,” he said.
“We are receiving reports from the field that polling agents cannot be admitted to polling stations unless they are vaccinated. This is the first time I am hearing it. It is extremely unfair that polling agents cannot be admitted unless they are vaccinated,” he added.
“We are receiving reports from the field those agents are not allowed to take in a cell phone, torch, and pen into the polling station. That is plainly ridiculous. This we have heard from Marondera and Kwekwe so it is hardly coincidental or ZEC officials being reckless.”
The issue of cell phones, pens and torches was first highlighted by civil society organisation, Heal Zimbabwe Trust.
However, ZEC denied the allegations yesterday on its official twitter handle saying it was a lie.
“ZEC would like to advise that the tweet by Heal Zimbabwe is a lie. Election agents can bring pens and papers, even torches if they do wish in the polling station.”