Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Zec Byo blacks out media on voting progress, statistics

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ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (Zec) officials at the Bulawayo provincial command centre yesterday declined to give out statistics on the number of voters who voted in the city’s 12 constituencies, saying that information would be released by their superiors in Harare.
BY SILAS NKALA
Zec Bulawayo provincial elections officer Innocent Ncube told Southern Eye that only the acting chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana and the electoral management body’s chairperson Priscilla Chigumba were authorised to divulge that information.
“The CEO and the chair are the ones who are responsible for that, I can only comment about general issues,” Ncube said.
This came amid reports that voting was extremely slow in most of the constituencies, with MDC Alliance aspiring senator David Coltart, claiming it took him more than four hours to cast his ballot.
Ncube confirmed the delays.
“So far, voting is going on well, people are voting in their numbers although in areas I have visited, people complained that the process was very slow. Otherwise they are voting and they are assisted to vote,” Ncube said.
“I am not sure why the process is slow, it might be either because this is a new process after the biometric voter registration or there is something amiss taking place which we are yet to identify.
“When the polling stations opened, I was at Richmond Hall. The queue was moving very well and what I think makes the process slow is that something anomalous might be taking place. Either people will be taking pictures inside the booths or something.”
Long queues characterised the Senzangakhona Primary School polling station at Nketa Mganwini constituency as at 12:45pm over 400 people in the queue.
Also, at Emganwini Pentecostal Church polling station, over 200 people were in the queue and they complained that the process was too slow, with some claiming to have arrived at around 6am, but by midday, they had not voted.
At Stanely Hall in Makokoba constituency, the queue was also long.