Catholic Bishops Issue Statement on Voting Process.

Election Statement for the 2018 Zimbabwe’s Harmonized Elections: Monday July 30 2018.

Delivered at Africa Synod House, Harare By the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJPZ) and IMBISA at 2pm.

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference giving an overview of the elections in the country today..JPG

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference giving an overview of the elections in the country today.

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference in conjunction with the Inter-regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA), today issued an election statement giving an overview of the voting process in the country. The statement that was read by the Chairman of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro is as follows:

We, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) – Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe (CCJPZ) and Inter-regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA), greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as Zimbabwe is in the process of choosing its leadership for the next five years.

We would like to inform you that the ZCBC-CCJPZ and IMBISA deployed 835 Election Day Observers.  What we are sharing with the nation is based on what we observed as from opening of the polling stations to midday today.

The Church notes that:

  • Most polling stations were opened on time and the Church commends ZEC for this.
  • There was a high turnout of voters as witnessed by long queues at many polling stations.
  • The general voting environment has been largely peaceful in most areas.

However we observed that:

  • The voting process has been slow. Waiting time in the queue has been long particularly in highly populated areas. Voters took between 3 and 12 minutes to complete the voting process. We ask ZEC to extend voting times to allow queuing voters to cast their ballots
  • There was confusion at some polling stations having more than one stream. Voters were directed and redirected from one stream to another. This created delays in the voting process. As a result, some voters were not patient to follow the proceedings and subsequently left or milled around the polling station. At some polling stations voting was temporarily stopped as police tried to contain the impatient voters.
  • Shortage of ballot papers in some polling stations.
  • Inadequate light in some polling stations throughout the country.
  • Chanting of slogans at some polling stations.
  • Voting materials such as ink running out.
  • A Large number of assisted voters. At one polling station for example, out of a total of 70, 52 had to be assisted. This is probably a sign of inadequate voter education.

We encourage citizens to report all cases of misconduct to relevant authorities.

The Church will continue to observe the process.

May God Bless Zimbabwe.

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