CLAIM: Opposition officials, citing a report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), say 21% of the nearly 11,000 polling stations used for the July 30 general election did not post presidential election results (v11 forms).
CONCLUSION: False. ZESN’s preliminary assessment report does not say 21% of polling stations did not display the presidential results form. The ZESN report, based on a statistical sample of 750 polling stations out of the total 10,985 used for Monday’s election, said party polling agents present at 93% of the surveyed polling posts got copies of the presidential election results.
What does the law say?
Section 64 (1) sub section (e) of the Electoral Act requires the presiding officer to, without delay and in the presence of candidates and election agents present, “affix a copy of the polling station return on the outside of the polling station so that it is visible to the public and ensure that it is there so that all members of the public who wish to do so may inspect and record its contents.”
ZESN is Zimbabwe’s largest independent election watchdog. It deployed over 6,500 observers across the country for the July 30 polls.
For its preliminary report, ZESN took a sample of 750 polling stations (just under 7% of total) “to provide truly representative information on the conduct of voting and counting in near real time.”
By the time ZESN published its preliminary statement on July 31, observers in 739 out of the surveyed 750 polling stations had reported back.
- Observers were allowed in at 100% of surveyed polling stations
- At 99% of polling stations the seals on the presidential ballot box were intact when counting commenced
- At 3% of polling stations, an MDC Alliance agent requested a recount of the presidential ballot paper
- ZANU-PF polling agents requested recounts at 2% of the polling stations.
- At 97% of the polling stations, MDC Alliance agents signed the presidential results form
- ZANU-PF agents signed the presidential results form at 99% of the polling posts.
- At 93% of polling stations all party agents present were given a copy of the presidential results form.
- At most polling stations, the presidential results were posted immediately after counting finished.
- Presidential results were posted less frequently for Bulawayo and Matabeleland North than other provinces
Asked about the supposed 21% of polling stations where v11 forms were not posted as stipulated, ZESN director Rindai Chipfunde Vava, said: “We did not produce a report that states those statistics.”
By ZimFact staff