ZIMBABWEAN diplomats posted in embassies around the world have received voting material allowing them to post their ballots ahead of the country’s, elections set for July 31.
Last week, Southern Eye revealed that civil servants posted at foreign missions were yet to receive voting material and they were worried that they could miss out on voting, as they had done during the March constitutional referendum.
A diplomat speaking on condition of strict confidentiality, said they received the voting material before lunch yesterday and were expected to vote and send back the ballots by yesterday evening or this morning.
The diplomat said they were waiting for clarification on the process.
“We hope to vote tomorrow,” the envoy said, revealing that the ballots were sent almost a week ago and they had to be returned as soon as possible, so that they can be counted.
“We plan to vote after lunch and send them back via courier as soon as possible thereafter, either this evening or tomorrow morning.”
The diplomat said in order to vote, they had to declare identity documents by providing a photocopy of their national registration documents or affidavit.
Meanwhile, SW Radio yesterday reported that diplomats will vote this week, adding that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau revealed that her organisation had received 262 applications for postal voting from the Foreign Affairs ministry.
The news site quoted Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Germany, Hebson Makuvise, saying staff at the Berlin mission had cast their ballots yesterday.
“We got our ballots in sealed envelopes, marked and put them back in sealed envelopes ready to be dispatched to Harare,” Makuvise said.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Senegal, Trudy Stevenson, is quoted as saying she and her husband would soon be voting after they received their ballots.
“Other embassies got their ballots much earlier than us because they are easily accessible,” she said.
“I am happy we received ours today (Tuesday) and I will be exercising my democratic right to vote.
Once we are done we will use a courier to send them back home. I was disappointed not to have voted in the referendum, as our government had no capacity to allow us to do so.”