Voters in various centres in Harare and Manicaland provinces yesterday slept at polling stations following delays in voting due to shortages of ballot papers.
In Harare, voting started late at polling stations in Warren Park, Cold Comfort , Westlea and Glennorah which prompted voters to spend the whole night voting. In Epworth at Kubatana Primary School, voting was temporarily stopped as local authority ballot papers ran out in the middle of the night.
In Manicaland Province, voters spent the night voting in areas like Mwacheta Primary School in Mutema Musikavanhu Constituency in Chipinge. Voters where still in queues at various poling stations at 2am in the morning.
In some wards, voting failed to commence due to the absence of municipal ballot papers. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Deputy Chairperson, Ambassador Rodney Kiwa has assured the nation that voters will get their 12 hours to vote even if ballot papers arrive late.
“The challenges that have been faced are sincerely regretted. We want to remind our stakeholders that the law requires that our voters should be given 12 hours during which they should exercise their right to vote and we are determined to honour that pledge as provided for by the law,” said Kiwa.
Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued Statutory Instrument 151 of 2023 yesterday to extend voting hours to August 24 for affected areas to allow people to vote.