The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has printed over 500 000 extra ballot papers for the presidential and National Assembly elections to be held on Wednesday next week.

Zec yesterday revealed that it contracted the Minting and Printing Company of Zimbabwe and printed 7 126 600 presidential ballot papers, 7 098 750 for National Assembly and 6 854 250 for the local authority.

There are 6 623 511 total registered voters in the presidential elections and 6 597 865 for the National Assembly.

Zec used a 7,6% contingency for both presidential and national assembly ballot papers where it printed 503 089 and 500 885 extra ballot papers respectively.

 The electoral body calculated a contingency of 3,5% for the local authority ballot papers and printed 249 788 extra ballot papers.

“The number of ballot papers printed for each of the three elections is different because with respect to the National Assembly election an independent candidate for Gutu West National Assembly constituency passed away and the election will be conducted on a later date,” Zec said in an election notice.

 “With respect to the local authority election will be held for 91 wards because the candidates for those wards were returned unopposed while four candidates passed away and the wards elections will be held at a later date.”

Opposition parties have expressed concern over the secrecy surrounding the printing of ballot papers.

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was forced to approach the High Court seeking an order compelling Zec to disclose details on the printing on the ballot papers.

Opposition presidential candidate, Elisabeth Valerio, said the Zec disclosure yesterday was too little too late.

 “We ought to have been informed about all the key details prior to the printing process,” Valerio, who is also the United Zimbabwe Alliance leader, said.

Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development leader Trust Chikohora said: “It’s important that Zec has availed that information, although it should have been availed earlier.”