24 November 2018– Residents of the Mutoko North and Chegutu East Ward 16 are voting to elect the Member of Parliament and the Ward Councillor respectively. Members of the ESR are observing the process and providing information on events as they happen in the constituency and the ward. The Mutoko North National Assembly seat became vacant following the election of the sitting MP as the President of the Senate. Whilst the Chegutu East Council seat fell vacant following the death of the councillor. The ESR has set up a call centre in Mutoko and citizens are calling in to share and receive information. Information in this statement is based on reports from ESR members and citizens who have called the Call centre.
General voting environment
The general voting environment around the by elections is peaceful and voting is continuing in the two by-elections. The following issues have been noted by citizens calling and ESR members observing the elections:
Polling is taking place in a peaceful manner
There are short queues at the polling stations
The majority of voters who have turned out to vote are elderly people
There is a conspicuous absence of young voters in the queues
At a number of polling stations in Mutoko, the number of assisted voters is ranging from between 10 to 15 per cent of the people who have voted.
Village Headman that are working as party agents in some areas.
Unconfirmed incidents of bussing in of voters by the Chegutu East Member of Parliament to polling stations.
Polling stations are generally accessible to persons with disabilities
The major political parties have deployed party agents.
The ESR continues to receive calls from citizens and ESR members observing the by elections in the 2 constituencies.
About the ESR
The Election Situation Room provides a platform for effective citizen monitoring and domestic observation of electoral processes, where key stakeholders and the general public can feed information and receive timely updates on key electoral processes. To achieve this, more than 40 organizations drawn from across the country and from different sectors have come together under the banner of the Election Situation Room. It has a Steering Committee that provide guidance and leadership to the ESR. The members of the Steering Committee are: ZESN, Zimbabwe NGO Forum, CSU, ZPP, Heal Zimbabwe Trust, NASCOH, NAYO, Habakkuk Trust, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, ZLHR, and the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe. These organizations have accredited observers, monitors, peace ambassadors who are community based. The ESR has a call Centre where members of the public are calling to report any incidents observed.
For more information, contact the Election Situation Room on the following details: URL: zimelectionsituationroom.org Facebook: ZimelectionsituationRoom Twitter: @ElectionRoom
Call for free on 08080234