The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) will carefully select individuals from the party who are well versed in the electoral process to monitor the by-elections on March 26.
In the last general election in 2018, CCC, then known as MDC Alliance faced challenges with some of its polling agents who allegedly went ‘AWOL’ while there were claims that the party had hastily organised people within the election week.
As a result, the party had no access to polling stations V11 return forms from its polling agents that also cost the party when it mounted a constitutional challenge against the presidential election result after Nelson Chamisa who had 44.3 percent of the votes lost to incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa who garnered 50.8 percent.
In an interview with CITE, CCC Deputy Secretary for Elections, Ellen Shiriyedenga, acknowledged the party needed a well-equipped team of polling agents to thoroughly monitor the voting process, saying their training would start next week.
“As CCC we endeavour to deploy polling agents in all areas where we have by-elections. So, we will make sure that all polling stations are manned by four people at most,” she said.
“We have come up with a database more like a pool of polling agents that we have scheduled for various trainings that are currently starting from next week.”
Shiriyedenga said the party had a pool of trainers who will go down to these affected wards and constituencies holding by-elections to train those people.
“Of course, this time around we are saying we are not just training anyone as a party cadre, but we are training people that we believe have the competencies to comprehend electoral issues at the polling station on the day of voting,” said the election secretariat.
“We also looked for dedicated and committed persons. So those are some of the criteria that we used to recruit our polling agents. So, in each polling station we will have people that will be trained.
She added that the party was striving to make sure they catered for the welfare needs of all their polling agents but lamented that resource mobilisation was a constraint.
“We will endeavour to equip them with the necessary kits for the day of election. Of course, we have had resource challenges with regards to deployment but we have reached out to the citizens out there to actually chip in,” Shiriyedenga said.
“We are in the process of mobilising resources for the deployment of polling agents. I’m sure we will certainly reach our target in terms of the amounts that are required for the deployment. We are looking at their welfare needs when they are at the polling stations including stationary because it’s critical that they actually record the proceedings on the day of the by-election.”
However, Shiriyedenga could not reveal how much the party was aiming to raise.
“There are some of the resource constraints we are having but we are currently fundraising for that. Unfortunately, at this stage for political reasons I can’t disclose the figures,” said the elections secretariat.
Also read: https://cite.org.zw/mdc-alliance-strategises-for-2023-elections/
According to Zimbabwe’s electoral system, there are five electoral centres, that is five election returns, according to Section 37C of the Electoral Act.
1. Polling station: V11 return
2. Ward Centre: V23A return
3. Constituency Centre: V23B return
4. Provincial Command Centre: V23C return
5. National Command Centre: V23D return!
In a general election voting is done at around 11 000 polling stations with 11 000 V11s collated at 1 958 ward centres into 1 958 V23A.
These are collated at 210 constituency centres into 210 V23Bs collated at 10 provincial centres into 10 V23Cs collated at the National Command Centre into a V23D.