Election stakeholders have welcomed the decision by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to review the positioning of voting booths ahead of the 30 July 2018 harmonized elections by reverting back to the set up in previous elections.
The proposed positioning of the voting booths which would have seen voters casting their ballots in full view of the polling officials, political party agents and observers was described by the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) as a threat to the secrecy of the vote.
“We are pleased that ZEC have taken this crucial step which we believe is essential to safeguarding the secrecy of the vote, it is imperative now for the Commission and other institutions supporting democracy to ensure that the political environment outside polling stations is devoid of intimidation and harassment of voters before and after voting,” said ZESN Chairperson, Mr Andrew Makoni.
In addition, ZESN urges the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to notify its officers of the change on the positioning and placement of the voting booths to ensure there is consistency in all polling stations on election day.
ZESN called on ZEC to provide political parties and observer groups with the version of the Final Voters Roll before the election to enhance stakeholder confidence and trust in electoral process.
In an interview with journalists after yesterday’s multiparty liaison meeting, ZEC Commissioner, Dr Qubani Moyo said “Today, we held the last national multi-party liaison committee meeting with contesting political parties and independent candidates to consider requests made to the commission, and the commission conceded to a request to keep the voting booth as it has been placed traditionally.”