Zimbabwe's Electoral Commission chairman Simpsom Mutambanengwe has refused to commit himself to the possibility of holding general elections next year even as reports emerged Friday that the electoral body has started preparing for those polls and a constitutional referendum.
The state-controlled and ZANU-PF-leaning Herald newspaper reports that the ZEC is undertaking various activities to ensure a smooth poll next year.
In a statement in the newspaper, the ZEC says as part of the preparations, it recently launched a program to train its employees and acquired vehicles, computers, laptops, photocopiers, training equipment and relevant software packages.
The electoral body has also embarked on a voter education campaign.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti did not set aside funds for an early election next year in his budget proposals for 2012 but sources say the United Nations Development Programme and its co-operating partners have been assisting the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Mutambanengwe told VOA Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reporter Blessing Zulu that elections are not an event but a process therefore his commission is always preparing for the next polls whenever they are called.