By Farirai Machivenyika
Printing of ballots to be used in the July 30 harmonised elections is set to begin next week following closure yesterday of the window period for candidates intending to withdraw from the race. Candidates that filed their nomination papers last week had until yesterday to withdraw their nomination papers if they so wished.
ZEC commissioner and chairman of the Multi-party Liaison Committee (MLC) Dr Qhubani Moyo said the ballots will be printed locally in the presence of political parties and observers.
“Now that we are going to close the withdrawal of candidates, we are going for printing next week,” he said.
“The ballots are going to be printed by local companies. The Presidential ballot and the National Assembly will be printed by Fidelity Printers and the Local Government ballots will be printed by Printflow here in Harare.
“We are going to invite contesting parties and independents to come and witness the process of the printing so that we deal with certain perceptions that we have had before, in particular to deal with the issues that we have had that the paper had elements of chromatography which allows the migration of an X from one particular candidate to another. We want to satisfy ourselves that all is well so that we deal with perceptions. You see, perceptions matter in elections so we must deal with them.”
“Parties and selected civil society will be invited but we can’t take that whole of Zimbabwe we can only take parties candidates and selected observers,” he said.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s meeting to establish the national Multi-party Liaison Committee was disrupted by Dr Francis Danha of the Hashtag 1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe whose candidate Melbah Dzapasi is contesting the Presidential election.
Dr Danha stood on top of chairs, preventing other political parties from making contributions and called for the resignation of ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba for allegedly failing to run the electoral body.
Dr Qhubani Moyo condemned Dr Danha’s behaviour.
“As you can see, everyone if very angry with one individual as you can see people are very eager to make their contributions.
“The formation MLCs is meant to provide a platform where we can engage political parties to promote peace in our communities and this kind of behaviour is not in sync with the spirit of forming the MLC.”