All set for chiefs council elections

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

All set for chiefs council elections 
Ambassador Rodney Kiwa

Wallace Ruzvidzo Herald Reporter

Everything is now in place for the National Council of Chiefs elections set for Thursday as well as the publication of polling stations to be used for the August 23 harmonised elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said yesterday.

The polling stations would be announced on Wednesday.

In addition, ZEC said it was ready and well prepared for the busy schedule in August, with the Council of Chiefs elections marking the first stage of the 2023 harmonised elections.

Thirty-six chiefs will be elected into the Chiefs’ Council. Manicaland will have five chiefs, Mashonaland Central 4, Mashonaland East 4, Mashonaland West 4, Masvingo 5, Matabeleland North 5, Matabeleland South 4 and Midlands 5.

In an interview yesterday, ZEC vice chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa said it was “all systems go” for the electoral body, starting with the Council of Chiefs elections on Thursday.

He said the requisite material had been put in place. “Those are in place, it’s just that I had not been fully briefed as yet but we are ready. We trained the necessary personnel who will be in charge of the elections; so everything is in place. It’s all systems go,” he said.

Ambassador Kiwa said ZEC was also geared to navigate the busy month of August, in which the harmonised general elections would be held on August 23, saying failure was not an option.

In keeping with all legal requirements pertaining to the holding of elections, the publication of polling stations would be done on Wednesday.

“We are very prepared; the only thing that had held us back was the issue of court cases. Although it was eating into our time, we have no option, we cannot fail to deliver on our timelines. Failure is not an option.

“Everything is in place for the publication of polling stations, that should happen; it is a legal requirement.

“In some cases, there will be more polling stations because we will be having composite polling stations (but) we do not want that threshold of 1 000 to be exceeded,” he said.

Ambassador Kiwa said ZEC has not faced any major challenges in the run-up to polling day, with procurement of material for use now well above the previously reported figure of 80 percent.

“Despite nomination court appeals that have stalled progress in the designing of ballot papers, the Commission has not faced major hurdles on the roadmap to polling day.

“The Commission is on schedule in as far as complying with the elections road map is concerned. Procurement of requisite electoral materials is well above 80 percent,” he said.

Following the publication of polling stations on Wednesday, and the elections for the Council of Chiefs on Thursday, August 9 will see the closure of receipt of postal vote ballots while on August 10, elections for the president and deputy president for the Council of Chiefs would be held.

On August 14, there will be the second observers’ briefing while August 16 will see the dispatching of postal votes to constituencies, and will also be the last day for submission of names of roving agents.

August 18 will be the day printed ballot papers will be published, with closure of receipt of applications for observer accreditation set for the following day.