ACCREDITATION of local and international observers for the upcoming Nkulumane by-election has begun, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said yesterday.
by NQOBANI NDLOVU
The by-election will be held on December 19.
Zanu PF’s Killian Sibanda, Ngwalo Nyathi and Sibusisiwe Mpofu of the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe and Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe respectively, are vying for the vacant seat.
ZEC, in an election notice, said applications to observe the polls should be submitted by December 15 at its head office in Harare or provincial office in Bulawayo.
“The ZEC hereby invites applications from observers and the media for accreditation to observe the Nkulumane national assembly by-election to be held on 19 December, 2015.
“The accreditation of successful applicants shall be conducted between 8am and 5pm at Windsor Park, 16th Avenue, Centenary Court, Famona, Bulawayo and at ZEC head office, Mahachi-Quantum building, Corner Jason Moyo and Kaguvi Street, Harare from the 10th of December to the 19th of December,” ZEC said in its election notice.
Accreditation fee for local observers is $10, African continent ($20), foreign embassies in Zimbabwe ($50), from outside Africa ($100), local journalists $10 and foreign correspondents $50.
ZEC has set up 30 polling stations for the Nkulumane by-election. The constituency command and collation centre will be situated at Nkulumane Housing offices.
Nkulumane constituency became vacant following the death of MDC T’s Thamsanqa Mahlangu.
A victory in Nkulumane would effectively put Zanu PF on an equal footing with the MDC-T, whose Bulawayo National Assembly seats would be whittled down to six.
The MDCs and Zapu are boycotting the Nkulumane by-election, citing lack of electoral reforms to guarantee free and fair voting.
The boycott strategy allowed Zanu-PF to grab five seats in Bulawayo during the June 10 by-elections, which were triggered by the firing of 16 MDC-T legislators who had defected to form another political outfit.
Analysts have said the election boycott by the MDCs is an own goal that lacks strategic thinking, and betrays the Bulawayo people who have voted against Zanu PF for the past 15 years.
Zanu PF had struggled to make inroads in Bulawayo, which had been dominated by the MDC-T since its formation in 1999.