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ZEC Sets Strict Election Guidelines, Including An August 21 Campaign Deadline

1 month ago
Sat, 19 Aug 2023 06:23:38 GMT
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ZEC Sets Strict Election Guidelines, Including An August 21 Campaign Deadline

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has issued strict guidelines for the upcoming elections. ZEC’s vice-chairman, Ambassador Rodney Kiwa, emphasised that all political campaigning must end by midnight on August 21, with legal consequences for any violations. August 22 is designated as a quiet day with no political campaigning allowed. Kiwa said:

Any campaigning by any political party, candidates, or individuals should end on August 21 at midnight. August 22 should be a quiet day and no political campaigning is allowed. If any party campaigns they will be liable to the law, it’s in terms of the Electoral Act and they will be criminalised. Those who campaign will be bound to prosecution, as ZEC will see to that. Midnight on August 21 is the deadline.

ZEC has also published a list of prohibited activities within a 300-meter radius of polling stations, including the ban on party regalia, slogans, political vehicles, leaflets, public performances, and the use of cameras or phones.

In a notice seen by Pindula News, the electoral body also said it is a punishable offence to refuse to leave a polling station when a Presiding Officer orders one to do so. Read the notice:


It is an offence to refuse or fail to leave a polling station when lawfully required to do so by the Presiding Officer. Offenders are liable to a fine not exceeding level four or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment. (Electoral Act – Chapter 2;13, Section 90).

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Regarding ballot printing, ZEC announced the following quantities produced for each election category:

  • Presidential Election: 7,126,600 ballot papers
  • National Assembly Elections: 7,098,750 ballot papers
  • Council Elections: 6,861,650 ballot papers

ZEC’s chief elections officer, Mr Utloile Silaigwana, explained the reasons for the variation in the number of ballot papers printed for each election category. He stated that for the National Assembly election, the passing of an independent candidate in the Gutu West National Assembly constituency led to a postponement. In the local authority election, elections won’t be held in 91 wards due to unopposed candidates and the unfortunate demise of four candidates. These elections will be conducted at a later date.

ZEC has also published a list of the 12,374 polling stations distributed as follows:

  • Bulawayo: 434
  • Harare: 1,559
  • Manicaland: 1,623
  • Mashonaland Central: 1,107
  • Mashonaland East: 1,420
  • Mashonaland West: 1,507
  • Masvingo: 1,416
  • Matabeleland North: 920
  • Matabeleland South: 721
  • Midlands: 1,667

ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba confirmed that 6 623 511 people have been registered to vote in the elections. She also confirmed the following categories of participants in the elections:

  • Presidential Candidates: 11
  • National Assembly Candidates: 518
  • Independent Candidates: 64
  • Local Authority Candidates (sponsored by political parties): 4,648
  • Independent Local Authority Candidates: 266

Regarding the election of two Senators to represent persons with disabilities, ZEC Chief Elections Officer, Mr Utoile Silaigwana, provided the following information:

  • The Electoral College, consisting of specified associations and institutions, will convene on August 26.
  • The election will be conducted in accordance with section 120(1)(d) of the Constitution.
  • The specified associations and institutions are listed in Statutory Instrument 133 of 2023.
  • The Electoral College will gather at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare on Saturday, August 26, 2023, from 7 am to 7 pm to elect the Senators representing persons with disabilities.

Last month, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, prescribed a list of 119 associations and institutions. These entities will nominate individuals who will compose the Electoral College responsible for filling the Senate seats for Senators elected to represent persons with disabilities. The list was formulated after consultations with Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Professor Paul Mavima.

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