By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said yesterday that all poll workers, observers and voters in tomorrow’s by-elections will be subject to Covid-19 contact tracing in the interest of public health.
Zimbabwe will hold by-elections tomorrow, the country’s first polls under Covid-19 conditions, to fill 28 parliamentary seats and 105 local government seats left vacant after deaths, diplomatic postings and recalls of MPs and councilors from MDC Alliance.
Zec said it called in medical professionals to keep voters and poll workers safe.
“The commission wants it to be recorded that the names of people visiting or deployed in the polling stations will indeed be recorded. However, this registration will not be limited to election workers, but to anyone who goes to the polling station for any reason,” Zec said in a statement.
“This is to enable contact tracing should a pandemic case of Covid-19 be detected and the commission has requested the assistance of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and other qualified health personnel to assist. in this enterprise.
“Furthermore, it is also important for the public to know that all polling officials, visitors, observers and poll workers are always registered in the protocol register during polls and this has been the practice even before the outbreak of the election. Covid-19 pandemic. ”
Zec rejected claims by Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) that its symbols on the voters list had been altered.
The CCC raised the complaint after it emerged that its yellow symbols were printed in black and white, saying it was an attempt to confuse voters.
“The commission has always printed party symbols and photos of candidates on ballots for elections in black and white. As previously stated, there is no law requiring the commission to print ballots or party symbols or photos of candidates in colors that match the contesting candidates or parties.
Zec said he would use the electoral list which was closed on January 8 after President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed the dates for the by-elections.
The opposition demanded the use of the 2018 voters list, saying the current one was littered with discrepancies.