EIGHT polling officers, who were manning a polling station during last week’s election, are in trouble for allegedly allowing an unregistered voter to cast his ballot at Hillside Junior School in Bulawayo.
REPORT BY SILAS NKALA
The polling officers, whose names were not made available yesterday, were manning the polling station on the voting day when an unregistered voter arrived at the polling station.
Sources privy to the incident told Southern Eye that the unnamed voter produced a passport before the officer responsible for ensuring voters had appropriate identity particulars.
“The officer looked at his passport and told him to proceed to the polling register to see if he was registered,” a source said.
“When the officer responsible for the register checked his name, it was not in the register and told him he could not vote.”
The insider said instead of going out the man went to the officer responsible for checking identity cards and told him that he had been told to go back to him to verify if his passport was valid.
“When the officer told him it was valid he did not go back to the register, he went to the officers issuing ballot papers, where he produced the passport and they gave him the ballot papers,” the source continued.
“He went and cast his ballots and the officers responsible for the voters’ register were surprised to see him coming out of the polling station. They alerted a police officer, who did not bother to attend to the issue.”
The source said the police officer is now implicating the polling officers in the case, which has led to their arrest.
“They are out of custody and they have been told to report in court on Monday,” he said.
“According to the police, five of the polling officers are being charged with the offence while the other three will be witnesses.”
Police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was not yet aware of the incident and would check with Bulawayo police.
“I am not aware of that, I will have to check with Bulawayo police. You will have to call later,” she said.
However, several attempts to get a comment from her were fruitless, as her mobile phone went unanswered.
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