209 polling stations designated for special voting

Thursday, 11 July 2013  SW Radio Africa

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will use 209 polling stations for the estimated 88,000 early voters, who will cast their ballots this coming Sunday and Monday.

The special voting is available for the security services and others like the ZEC personnel, who would be unable to vote on July 31st because they will be performing other duties.

ZEC sent out 120,000 applications that were meant to be filled in and returned by those who will be on duty on Election Day. During a question and answer session with civic groups on Wednesday ZEC's deputy chairperson, Joyce Kazembe, said out of 120,000 application forms requested for the special voting facility 87,316 had been returned to their offices.

'Others were rejected because the applicants failed to attach copies of their ID cards. Additionally those who failed to send their forms before the cut- off date of June 30th will not be considered,' she said.

Only those who returned their applications would be able to vote and their ballots will be sent direct to their respective polling stations where they're registered.

ZEC said the police force accounted for 69,222; ZEC 15,954; prison services 2,000 and 140 from the Zimbabwe National Army. Kazembe said once voting is done on Sunday and Monday, the boxes will be secured and the ballots will only be counted on the same day as the other votes on July 31st.

But there are questions being raised over the strength of the police force, with co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makoni saying it only as 38,000 enlisted officers.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti confirmed during a press conference at Harvest house on Wednesday that his ministry' salary bill for the police caters for about 38,000 officers.

'We have the salary schedule as evidence and we've sent it to ZEC as part of the many complaints we want them to look at,' Biti said.

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