The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said it it not obliged to print ballot papers in colour (s) corresponding to contesting candidates or parties. This was said by Jasper Mangwana, the newly-appointed ZEC spokesperson. In a series of messages, seen by Pindula News, Mangwana said ballot papers are required to have 1. Name of candidate 2. Name of party 3.Symbol 4.Photograph, and 5. marking space. He said:
@ZECzim is not obliged to print ballot papers in colour/colours that correspond to contesting candidates or party. The applicable provisions that relate to printing of the ballot paper are in section 52A of the Electoral Act & Section 5 of the Electoral Regul SI 21 of 2005.
The sections do not at all bind the Commission to print any ballot papers in the manner the party is alleging.What is important is to distinguish the colour of the ballot paper depending on the type of election as envisaged by Section 5 of the Electoral Regulations.
All ballot papers are in terms of the law required to have the following information on them: 1.Name of candidate 2.Name of party 3.Symbol 4.Photograph,and 5.marking space May check forms V.9 and V.10 in the Regulations.
The law does not require the Commission to print the photograph or symbol of the party in colour.It is unfortunate that the party went on to educate its supporters without consulting with the Commission on the contents and form of ballot paper. Be guided accordingly.
His remarks come just days before the 26 March by-elections and could cause confusion on voters, especially the illiterate as they depended on colours to know their candidates.