Opposition flags Zanu PF desks just outside polling stations

Election watchdogs and opposition political parties have once again flagged the presence of Zanu PF desks next to polling stations in rural areas where ruling party members were recording names and ID numbers of voters.

These Zanu PF desks are labeled Exit Poll Survey desks but opposition parties have described them as intimidation tactics to scare voters.

Some of these desks were reportedly giving out food parcels to voters.

At Filabusi B Primary School in Insiza South the presiding officer, Progress Zhou said he was alerted to the presence of those survey desks by police who had been informed by members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

The presiding officer said he, in the company of the police told the Zanu PF people to move away from the polling station.

In Insiza South, under Matabeleland South, CCC provincial spokesperson, Ntando Ndlela, also said the opposition party had to inform police to take action against the Zanu PF desks next to Edwaleni Tent and Vumangwe polling stations.

When asked what they were doing there, they said were evasive.
“Sizihlalele nje ( we are just relaxing),” they said.

When asked why they had some form of campaign material on their table, the Zanu-PF members said it was not campaign material, neither was their desk a polling station.

Opposition parties said the desks were part of a rigging strategy since some were giving out food to those who had voted and passed by the desks to have thir details taken down.

Zimbabwe went for its national polls on August 23, 2023, to vote for the president, National Assembly and Local Authority members, which did not pass by without incidents.

Some of the Zanu PF Exit Poll Survey desks, were set just metres away from polling stations while others were strategically placed 300 meters from polling stations, where polling officers and police had no authority over them.

This was strategically in accordance with Section 7 (d) of the Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates, which prohibits political parties and candidates from campaigning or displaying campaign materials within a 300-metre radius of a polling station or counting centre.

In Bulilima Constituency Matabeleland South ZAPU candidate Artwell Ndlovu said next to Bhutshe Polling Station, Zanu PF had perched its desk giving out food parcels to voters.

“This is very wrong and clear vote buying on a day where people are supposed to practice their democratic right without influence but to freely vote for their candidates,” he said.

Ndlovu said ZEC and the police were not doing much to take action against these as there were rigging tactics that had to be nipped in the bud.

“Zanu is intimidating people who are voting and that is wrong,” said the ZAPU candidate.

This is not the first time for Zanu PF to set such as last year during the October by-elections in Insiza and Matobo, election watchdogs and opposition political parties urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to take action against the intimidation of villagers during elections.

This was after the ruling party set up Exit Poll Survey desks outside of polling stations in Saturday’s by-elections in Insiza and Matobo.

This was also confirmed by the CCC Ward 2 council candidate Headman Nkomo, who said had not voted as he was trying to check what these desks were up to.

One of the Zanu PF exit poll survey desks was seen after Nkankezi Primary School Polling Station in Ward 17 Insiza North, where Two women and one man were manning it.

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