ZEC Has Illegally Printed And Distributed Ballot Papers – Jonathan Moyo

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ZEC Has Illegally Printed And Distributed Ballot Papers - Jonathan Moyo
ZEC Has Illegally Printed And Distributed Ballot Papers - Jonathan Moyo

Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Self-exiled former ZANU PF Politburo member Jonathan Moyo says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) violated the national constitution by printing and distributing the ballot papers for the local authority, parliamentary and presidential elections set for 23 August 2023.

In a post on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, Moyo said ZEC has failed to provide information on where and by whom the ballot papers for the election have been printed; and the total number of ballot papers that have been printed.

He argued that ZEC has also not provided political parties and candidates with information about the number of ballot papers that have been or will be distributed to each polling station. Wrote Moyo:

ZEC HAS PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BALLOT PAPERS IN VIOLATION OF PEREMPTORY PROVISIONS OF THE ELECTORAL ACT IN BREACH OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE TO RENDER 2023 POLL NEITHER FREE NOR FAIR IN ADVANCE

With the evidence of copies of votes being illegally circulated on social media by some postal voters who voted today [see attachment], it is clear and of grave concern that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] has illegally and unconstitutionally printed and distributed the ballot papers for the local authority, parliamentary and presidential elections set for next week on 23 August.

Section 52A of the Act directs ZEC as follows:

(1) The Commission shall ensure that the number of ballot papers printed for any election does not exceed by more than ten per centum the number of registered voters eligible to vote in the election.

(2) The Commission shall without delay provide the following information to all political parties and candidates contesting an election, and to all observers—

(a) where and by whom the ballot papers for the election have been or are being printed; and

(b) the total number of ballot papers that have been printed for the election; and

(c) the number of ballot papers that have been distributed to each polling station.

It is common cause that ZEC has not provided political parties and candidates contesting the 23 August election or election observers, information on where and by whom the ballot papers for the election have been printed; and the total number of ballot papers that have been printed for each of the three elections [local authority, parliamentary and presidential]; the total number of ballot papers that have been printed for the harmonised general election; and the number of ballot papers that have been or will be distributed to each polling station.

Section 52A(2) is peremptory, in that it does not give ZEC any discretion on the matter, it says the “the Commission shall, not may but shall, without delay provide the stipulated information on the printing of the ballot papers.

The fact that ZEC has printed the ballot papers in blatant violation of section 52A(2) is a gross illegality whose impact can only dent the integrity and credibility of the election to render it neither free nor fair in terms of sections 56(1) and 67(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe as read with section 239(a)(iv) whose constitutional imperative is that ZEC must ensure that:

…elections and referendums are conducted efficiently, freely, fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law.

Ballot papers for the 2023 harmonised general election have been printed opaquely, secretly and in unknown quantities to make it impossible for the all-too-important political right to vote to be exercised freely and fairly!

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