The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: ZEC Readies for Elections

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has started looking for polling booths as part of its preparations for the forthcoming referendum and harmonised elections.

The electoral body has since invited tenders for the supply of cardboard polling booths together with laptop computers for use at polling stations.

Zec also asked suppliers to provide services and repairs for gas lamps and generators that would be used for lighting, especially in the rural areas and areas where there would be power load shedding.

Voting usually lasts late into the night at some polling stations in the rural areas where there is no electricity due to several reasons including opening late and overcrowding.

The closing date for the tenderers to respond is February 19.

"Tenderers are asked to submit applications in sealed envelopes with the tender number outside and delivered to the director-general for administration, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Mahachi Quantum reception corner Jason Moyo and Kaguvi Street or posted in time and sorted into the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission private bag 7782, Causeway, Harare before closing date," said Zec.

"Tenderers must submit three copies of proposals. Tender documents are obtainable from finance department third floor Mahachi Quantum Building upon payment of a non-refundable fee of US$10."

President Mugabe is expected to announce dates for the referendum soon after the draft constitution was adopted by Parliament last week.

Copac would have to conduct awareness campaigns on the draft for people to vote from an informed position during the referendum.

Zec has come up with a budget of US$85 million for the referendum, while the harmonised elections require US$107 million.

The electoral body is yet to receive the money from Treasury and now has a limited time frame to organise the two events.

Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa and his Finance counterpart Mr Tendai Biti have since written to the UNDP asking the UN organ to help source the funds from donors.

The Government has only managed to release US$2 million that Zec said would be enough only to purchase inks to be used during voting.

Mobile voter registration scheduled to start early January is yet to start because of lack of finance although voter registration is a continuous process.

Eligible citizens not already on the roll can apply at any office of the Registrar General at any time.

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