‘This is very strange’: SADC observer mission head raises concern over ZEC delays

Observers say they are concerned by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s delays in delivering ballots to polling stations, which has seen voting starting late at multiple polling stations.

ZEC blames “numerous court challenges” for delays in printing ballots, saying voters will be allowed to vote. 

The head of the SADC observer mission, Nevers Mumba, said the delays are a concern. 

“We are concerned about that. The ballot papers should have been here way ahead time. That is the constitutional provision of Zimbabwe,” Mumba said. 

“We were assured that material is going (to be available) in all the polling stations way ahead of this morning. This is very strange for us to find out that in some polling stations voting material came in late. That is one aspect we are going to interogate during this process.”

Fabio Castaldo, Chief Observer of the EU observer group, told reporters: “So far at around 30% of polling stations (monitored by EU observers) there were significant delays in opening procedures, delays linked to lack of essential materials, notably in many cases ballots.”

Opposition CCC leader condemned the delays after voting in Kuwadzana. 

“We are dissapointed because the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have dissapointed the citizens. People came in their large numbers,” Chamisa said.