The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has confirmed that police officers have started voting ahead of the 23 August 2023 elections.
A report by NewsDay on Wednesday quoted ZEC deputy chairperson Rodney Simukai Kiwa as saying they had only allowed police officers deployed outside their constituencies to participate in the postal ballot system. Said Kiwa:
"Yes, they have been voting. We started sending out the postal ballots on Sunday and Monday."
CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere on Tuesday tweeted that police officers were voting in the absence of agents and independent observers.
However, Kiwa said postal voting was not subject to monitoring. He said:
"There is no way postal votes can be monitored. Postal votes are not subject to monitoring."
"So the opposition or whoever might want to monitor, it’s not possible. How can one tell whether there are postal votes? The law is very clear on that."
"How can you deploy observers on postal votes, because the postal ballots are dispatched in various places, so operationally, and physically, it’s not possible."
ZEC recently gazetted Statutory Instrument 140, which amended section 75(1)(d) of the Electoral Act to allow the chief elections officer to receive postal votes not later than three days before the voting day instead of 14 days.
Zimbabwe holds three elections (local authority, parliamentary and presidential) on 23 August 2023.