The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has put in place an additional 672 polling stations for the upcoming elections. There were 8,998 polling stations in the 2008 election and this year there will be 9,670.
ZEC said the move would ensure that all registered voters will be able to cast their votes on July 31st. The harmonized elections will see voters decide on the President, National Assembly members and councillors.
Joyce Kazembe, the ZEC deputy chair, explained that the increase in the polling stations, established in terms of section 51 of the Electoral Act, was a response to the increased number of people who had registered to vote.
The country's voter's roll now stands at over six million voters, up from five million following the voter registration exercise. According to Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede as of June 30, at least 476,313 new voters were registered, while 142,624 voters had transferred from their initial voting centres.
He said 595,746 people had inspected the voters' roll, with 337,030 others acquiring national identification cards. Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said for the first in as many years, all political parties have been given information on the number of polling stations and their locations in advance of the election date.
'Before such information was only available to ZANU PF who had sole control of ZEC and the RG's office. To be fair on ZEC, they've tried to be transparent than the old discredited ZEC led by George Chiweshe,' Muchemwa said.
Numbers of polling stations are:
- Mashonaland West1,303
- Mashonaland East1,047
- Mashonaland Central822
- Matabeleland North783
- Matabeleland South622