ESR deploys 6 000 election observers

THE Election Situation Room (ESR) has deployed 6 000 election observers to various constituencies across the country in an effort to ensure the smooth running of Monday’s general elections.

BY TALENT GUMPO

ESR is a consortium of over 40 civil society organisations and provides a platform for citizens to report electoral malpractices.

Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Tuesday, a member of the ESR steering committee, Liberty Bhebhe, said the observers would only focus on political hotspots.

“Our co-ordination, especially in the Southern region, is going to be based on what we observed as hotspots in the last election and we will prioritise those because we are not well-resourced to cover all,” Bhebhe said.

ESR chairperson Jenny Williams said their task was to observe the process of tallying and tabulation of election results at ward, constituency, provincial and national command centres.

“The results management and transmission process is critical in an election process and as such this has to be transparent,” she said.

Williams rapped the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for failing to provide information regarding procedures to be followed in the tallying and announcement of results.

“The Zec has not issued procedures for tallying and announcement of results at the different levels for the different electoral races; this makes it difficult for observer organisations and political parties to train their observers and party agents to observe the process.

“The ESR calls upon Zec to make these procedures available immediately and to commit to posting all results on their website for verification, if these measures are not implemented, the election results will risk not being accepted,” she said.

Zec commissioner, Qhubani Moyo said civil society organisations can approach the elections commission and request for the procedures saying, however, that it was publicised sometime back.


“The process of tallying and announcement of results is public knowledge and was publicised before if I am not mistaken, but if need be, the organisations can approach Zec and it will be made available to them,” he said.

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