Observers have raised concern over low voter turnout for by-elections this Saturday with some saying it could be a sign that the electorate no longer trusts electoral processes in the country.
Heal Zimbabwe said:
In all constituencies being observed by @HealZim low voter turnout is a serious cause for concern. What could be the reason for the low voter turnout?
The same observation was made by the Election Resource Centre (ERC) which said:
As at 15:48 Mutasa South Constituency Chikanga Primary B Registered Voters – 800 Votes Cast – 192 Turnout – 24%
Some said the low turnout was an indication that the citizenry does not have faith in electoral processes anymore. There have been reports for years now, that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is partial and is controlled by the ruling ZANU PF.
Both the electoral body and the ruling party deny the accusations.
Meanwhile, Alex Tawanda Magaisa, a former Chief of Staff in the office of a former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, suggested that the trend did not start this year. He said:
Perhaps you could compare with previous by-elections for context. My view based on experience is that by-elections generally suffer low voter turnout compared to general elections & it’s not just a Zimbabwean phenomenon. But there could be other reasons which require research.
Zimbabwe is holding the biggest by-elections in the Southern African country’s history. The elections are meant to fill 28 National Assembly seats and over 100 council seats most of which became vacant when MDC-T recalled MDC Alliance members.
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