Close to 2 000 people had been turned away from voting in Masvingo province by 11:30am yesterday, as their names were either not on the voters’ roll or they had reported at wrong polling stations, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commision (Zec) has revealed.
Zec deputy provincial elections officer Maxwell Ncube said out of 113 784 voters who cast their ballots by 11:30am, 1 725 were turned away as they did not appear on the voters’ roll.
“As at 11:30am, 113 784 people had voted. Out of that number, 1 725 were turned away because they were not appearing on the voters’ roll. Assisted voters were 14 675 (female 9470 male 5 205),” Ncube said.
There are around 585 785 registered voters in Masvingo province, which has 1,5 million people according to the last census figures provided by the national statistical office, ZimStats.
In Masvingo Central, Build Zimbabwe Alliance polling agents were denied access to all polling stations. The party’s candidate, Ranganai Pazorora, who is also its secretary-general, made frantic efforts to sort the issue at the district command centre.
Indications were that more men compared to women voted in Masvingo.
In Matabeleland North and South provinces, thousands of voters had cast their vote in various constituencies visited by Southern Eye by midday yesterday amid concerns the process was slow and that voter turnout was low in most rural constituencies.
A visit to some polling stations in Bulilima East constituency in Matabeleland South province established that there was poor turnout at a number of polling stations, with some recording an average of 50 people each, while others had zero voters by midday.
These include Thekwane, Mbalule, Norwood, Watershed, Usher Secondary, Sinotsi and Mdutshwa polling stations.
Dingumuzi Primary had the largest number of voters at the opening of polling station, with 33 females and 35 males.
In Hwange’s Dete ward 17, MDC Alliance councillor Joseph Bonda (44) was arrested and detained at Dete Police Base on allegations of disorderly misconduct after speaking to observers complaining about politicians who brought voters to vote in polling stations where they did not reside in.
Human rights lawyer Thulani Nkala last night said Bonda was yet to be officially charged, but police confirmed that he would appear in court tomorrow.
At Alarn Redfem Primary School ward 6 polling station in Mangwe constituency, nine voters were assisted at that time, while six of them were turned way, as four of them had visited the wrong polling station, while two were not registered.
Mangwe district elections officer, a Ngwenya, refused to give statistics for the whole constituency, saying only the provincial elections officers were authorised.
The officer said the electoral body was having communication challenges with Makhorokhoro ward 17, Maninji ward 8 and Khalanyoni area ward 16.
In separate interviews, a number of self-employed residents in Plumtree town were saying they would try to vote later in the day as they were fending for their families.
As at 12 noon, 8 000 people had cast their ballots. Of the figure, 4 867 were females, while 3 133 were males. Assisted voters were 971 and 248 were turned away for visiting wrong polling station, not having IDs or not being registered.
At Alarn Redfem Primary, Zanu PF chief polling agent Simon Moyo lodged a complaint that some candidates had been needlessly loitering at the polling station.
This, he argued, was unfair practice akin to campaigning at the polling station.
The MDC Alliance polling agent refused to be quoted in the absence of her chief election agent.
Voting at Mthwakazi B Hall Filabusi went well and the queue was not long, while Zec officials refused to give statistics.
At Insiza South ward 1 at St Mathews Primary School by 12:15pm, 379 people had voted, with 32 assisted voters. The Insiza South command centre presiding officer said by lunch hour, 5 917 people had cast their ballots. Some polling stations in the area had no voters.
At Nkayi South, by mid-day, 3 864 voters had cast their ballots, with 179 being assisted, while 54 were turned away for various reasons. In Nkayi North, 1 086 had voted, while one person was turned away, while 42 were assisted.
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