Leonard Ncube/ Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporters
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has dismissed Professor Jonathan Moyo’s “nonsensical” claims that the electoral body has already printed ballot papers for this year’s harmonised elections.
Prof Moyo — who is in self-imposed exile — has been in overdrive on Twitter insinuating rigging has started with printing of ballot papers.
He bases his claims on last week’s HardTalk interview where BBC journalist Steven Sackur grilled MDC-T’s Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
There is a part that Prof Moyo quotes which he says indicates the papers have already been printed.
Speaking at a media training workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) here yesterday, Zec Commissioner Mrs Faith Sebata said it was common sense that ballot papers can only be printed after the nomination courts sit and candidates for the election have been confirmed.
A majority of parties are still battling to come up with a list of candidates to represent them in the polls.
Comm Sebata said the ballots will be printed by a local company. “Ballots will be printed locally with the knowledge of candidates. The printing will be done after the Nomination Court sits. Zec here is trying to be as open as possible,” said Commissioner Sebata.
Nomination Court sits after proclamation of the date and is the one that confirms candidates.
Zec also distanced itself from a message circulating on WhatsApp platforms which commands one to click and immediately says one has voted President Emmerson Mnangagwa. “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to disassociate itself with an app circulating on the Whatsapp platform. The app has a Zec logo and the message ‘Click to vote’ When one follows the command the following message appears: ‘Congratulations! You have voted for Emmarson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. Your vote counts’ (sic).”
The electoral Commission said it does not communicate via WhatsApp platforms.
“Members of the public are hereby advised that the message did not originate from Zec and we would like to state that the Commission does not use WhatsApp to communicate public information.”
At present, Zec is using the mainstream media, the Zec website www.zec.gov.zw the Zec Twitter handle @Zeczim and bulk SMS messaging to communicate with the public. It warned those purporting to be the electoral management body that they risk being charged with crime of impersonation.
“The Commission is also advising the public that it is not possible for upcoming election candidates to receive votes through a mobile app since voters have to present themselves physically at their respective allocated polling stations to cast their ballots on the polling day.