The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says the country’s council and parliamentary by-elections are going on smoothly despite complaints by some political parties that the electoral management body is biased and unprofessional.
ZEC spokesperson Jasper Mangwana told journalists that all polling stations opened on time and “everything is currently going on well” with no notable incidents of political violence nationwide.
But opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader, Nelson Chamisa, said his polling agents are being tormented by Zanu PF supporters in some parts of the country where ruling party activists, including some chiefs, are assisting people to vote.
CCC said in a tweet, “ Zanu PF thugs have badly attacked our polling agent at Mbizo Youth Centre, Ward 1, Kwekwe Central. Police report is being filed. The Citizens have stopped Zanupf supporters who were campaigning outside a polling station in Kwekwe Central ward 9.”
The party added that 249 assisted voters were recorded in Mt. Darwin ward 4. This is a tired & primitive rigging tactic, the people shall govern. Total people voted 1188 Assisted 249 Turned away 98.”
CCC also claimed that some polling stations were set up in bushy areas and Zanu PF supporters were campaigning in several regions.
In Harare West’s Ward 14, CCC claimed that a polling station was located in a corn field.
“… The polling station is right in the middle of a maize field yet we've several spaces in the area ZEC could have used for a key national process.”
Paurina Mpariwa, secretary general of the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora, told journalists that the election is going on well despite the presence of some marauding political activists outside polling stations.
Zanu PF’s director of communications, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, praised ZEC for “doing a great job” even if some polling officers “were given a hard time” by CCC in Mutasa Central, Manicaland Province.
CCC dismissed the claims as “wishful thinking.
One hundred and thirty three council and parliamentary seats are up for grabs.