THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has offered to train polling agents of the various political players in the upcoming elections “so that they become aware of what’s expected of them”.
ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba made the revelations when her team met political parties represented in Parliament in Harare this Tuesday.
“Political parties meetings are crucial in that we tell these members what is required in elections. We need to train their polling agents so that they are aware of what is expected out of them,” she said.
With a minimum of 11 000 polling stations across the country in the 2023 general elections, each party would need up to 44 000 pollings agents countrywide, which many parties fail to do for lack of adequate human and financial resources.
As per Zimbabwean law, each candidate may appoint a person to be his or her chief election agent. This appointment must be made before, on or after nomination day but not later than 7 days before polling day or the first polling day.
The candidate must notify the constituency elections officer of the full names and address of his or her chief elections officer and the constituency elections officer must then give public notice giving details of the chief elections officer so appointed.
If a candidate fails to give notice of the appointment of a chief elections agent, the candidate will be deemed to be his or her own chief elections agent.
Not later than three days before the polling day, a chief election agent may appoint one or more persons to be his or her election agents and must forthwith notify in writing the full names and address of every election agent so appointed to the constituency elections officer.
Chigumba added that ZEC was now ready to hold by-elections as it has just received funds from Treasury to procure required materials.
“We are ready for by-elections and others, we received funding from government to procure resources and we are always ready to hold by-elections,” she said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the pending by-elections will be held in the first quarter of next year. Over 130 local ward and Council by-elections are to be held.