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Zimbabwe Election: 17:00 CCC update

by Charles Kwaramba
23 Aug 2023 at 11:37hrs | Views
Good afternoon. Serious problems with voting persist as several polling stations, particularly in urban areas, remain unopened. However, there are reports of great morale among opposition voters on the ground. For the most part violence is minimal, which is vital for ensuring a high turnout and a big CCC win.


We are still receiving reports that some polling stations in Harare (and also Bulawayo) have not opened due to lack of ballot papers. ZEC has said this is due to printing hold-ups caused by the ongoing court challenges of candidates.

This excuse is both highly disingenuous and completely irrational. Last week the Commission said it had printed all the papers, with the vast majority already delivered to polling stations. That the ballots were printed in Harare, and yet the ballot papers cannot allegedly make it to polling stations in the city, further exposes ZEC's disingenuity.

The Commission has confirmed anyone in the queue by 19:00 will be allowed to vote. It has also confirmed an extension to the voting period for the polling stations that opened late. However, an extension of the vote into the night and early hours is not an adequate solution, but instead an option that is deeply impractical and potentially dangerous.


Despite gross problems with the ZEC's management of polling stations, citizens remain undeterred. Despite already having waited for hours, voters at Sizane High School in Bulawayo say they will continue to wait until ballot papers arrive from the ZEC.

Likewise, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa told reporters of his frustration with ZEC but that voters are turning out in droves in the CCC heartlands of Harare and Bulawayo. ERC Africa reports that urban voters have increased by 0.8%, directly benefiting the CCC's urban voter base.

SADC observer chief Nevers Mumba said he was happy to see the "long lines" of voters but has rightly expressed his concern about the delays to ballot papers arriving at polling stations. EU chief observer Fabio Castaldo says there have been delays to proceedings at 30% of polling stations.


ZANU-PF continues to deploy its strategy of intimidating voters in rural areas by setting up tables near polling stations allegedly to conduct exit polling and noting voter names and ID numbers.

The police have started taking action in some areas, such as at this polling station in Ruwa where they scattered unidentified agents who were taking the names of voters leaving the station.

This is a tried-and-tested intimidation tactic in rural areas. But we are now receiving reports of it in urban areas including Bulawayo which is very unusual. These drastic measures taken by the ruling party serves to emphasise its panic in the face of such energy, activity and hope displayed by the opposition.

Charles Kwaramba
Presidential Chief Elections Agent

Source - Charles Kwaramba