'High voter turnout in rural, farming communities'

HARARE - A pro-democracy group says the voting process at the just ended referendum went smoothly in the majority of the districts except a few instances where political parties bussed in people to cast their ballots in some farming communities.

The Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) commended the conduct of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) at all polling stations observed.

The group had observers deployed in Karoi, Hurungwe, Chinhoyi, Murewa, Mutoko, Mudzi, Wedza, Kwekwe, Gokwe and Marondera districts where they compiled reports on the referendum vote.

“There was high voter turnout in some rural and farming communities largely due to bloc voting and high political party activity on the voting day,” said Phillip Pasirayi, CCDZ director.

“Higher voter turnout was also noted in high density residential areas and Central Business District areas as opposed to peri-urban and low density residential areas.”

He said statistics show that men came in greater numbers as compared to women and youths.

The highest number of male voters was recorded in CBD and rural areas, while farming and communal areas recorded higher number of female voters.  

“Some aspiring MDC and Zanu PF councillors and Members of Parliament assisted their supporters through organising transport and other logistics including food for the voters in certain areas,” Pasirayi said.

“In polling centres in the farming areas in the outskirts of Marondera, people were bussed in, that is, they were taken to polling stations in tractors and other modes of transport to cast their ballots. This led to long queues.”

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