GWERU: Following mounting pressure from opposition political candidates, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has the Coolmoreen Homestead polling station which contestants had protested its locale saying it is home to Zanu PF Chairperson who doubles as Midlands Minister of State Larry Mavhima.
The polling station in Gweru Urban Ward 2 was used during the 2018 election and candidates argued that it was defeating ZEC’s purpose of facilitating a free, fair, and credible election.
The station has now been pitched outside the compound.
The election management board whose ‘independence’ has often been questioned by activists is also often alleged of formulated election mechanisms that favor the ruling Zanu PF party.
The issue which came to light following an online current affair show, The Follow Up hosted by Community Talk was further amplified in an election debate hosted by CITE.
“How do you see yourself winning when in 2018 we witnessed that one polling station was based on the homestead of the now Zanu PF Chairperson,” asked a participant Tauraui Demo during the Follow Up Show.
“It is true and we are working flat out to have this anomaly solved. You would recall that during the 2018 elections, occupants of the homestead were even dressed in Zanu PF regalia and we could not do a thing about that as they argued that they were dressed as they wish since they were at their homestead,” Makombe replied then.
“The issue of a polling station at one of Zanu PF Chef’s homestead is totally against the tenants of democracy and should be solved before the oncoming by-election,” added Makombe in an election debate hosted by CITE.
Today Makombe however said the move to get the polling station off Mavhima’s homestead was welcome though he said they are witnessing other anomalies that need urgent attention.
“Challenges are still there a few hours before election and surely ZEC is still far from reforming in terms of managing a free, fair, and credible election. Once we fail to find common ground on challenges with ZEC, we will definitely address these through the press as it has proved viable to reaching more relevant offices,” further said Makombe.