Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

ZEC officer caught with unsealed ballot papers at night amid rigging fears

A Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officer was allegedly caught with unsealed ballot papers at Mhizha Primary School in Highfields, Harare last night.

This happened a day before the by-elections set for Saturday.

Investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono exposed the development on Twitter last night. He shared a video of the alleged ZEC officer being interrogated by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) election agents.

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“A ZEC officer was caught by CCC agents with ballot papers spread on a desk at Mhizha Primary School in Highfields in Harare,” Chin’ono said.

“The agents challenged the ZEC official to explain why they had unsealed ballot papers at night without agents notified!

“The CCC agents said that ZEC officers are not supposed to do what they did.

“They said ballot papers are supposed to be unsealed in front of everyone. The CCC agents said the election processes have been violated! Can you explain Jasper Mangwana why this happened.”

In response, Mangwana, the ZEC spokesperson said the electoral body would issue a statement regarding the incident.

“Hopewell, ZEC will issue a statement, however, at 6.30am on polling day, verification and declaration of all polling materials is done before agents,observers and polling officers. The presiding officer can check his/her materials in the absence of agents before polling, its administrative,” he said.

CCC deputy chairman Job Sikhala accused Zanu-PF of plotting to rig the by-elections.

“This is shameful. We have always been telling people that Zanu-PF is finished. Clutching on the straws now. They are ashaming themselves,” he said.

Recently, activist group Team Pachedu discovered on the voters roll that the names of at least 165,000 people had been moved to different wards and constituencies without notification, leading to confusion and some people having to travel long distances to vote. Nehanda Radio