Presidential Decree: Zim Voting Day to be Declared 'Public Holiday'

Harare - As per the constitutional dictates, Zimbabwe's president is contemplating declaring the voting day a public holiday. 

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is juggling the possibility for the general elections scheduled for July, according to Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.

“Also in terms of what you perceive, any job maybe essential depending on how you look at it but what the Constitution and the Electoral Act has done is that the day when we are voting, the president is obliged by law to declare it a public holiday.

“The Act in Section 92 also obligates all the employers to release their employees so that they can go and vote.

“This is also covered in the Act and all employers will be obligated. I think that is covered for presiding officers and everyone else, the law says the day can be declared a public holiday which I think it will,” Ziyambi told MPs in parliament.
Voting in Zimbabwe

Regarding to electoral officers, they can vote through postal ballot.

“I believe the electoral law covers the electoral officers adequately, those who will be conducting the elections in Section 72A. Those electoral officers can vote by postal vote and this is adequately covered and your fears that they may not vote which are well-founded, I think are covered.

“The only thing that happened when we did the amendment in 2012, some of the provisions on postal votes were suspended pending the coming in of the new voters’ roll but I think it is covered.”

“Let us have a mechanism to enable those people to vote because I know from experience a lot of persons who have been assigned election duties have been unable to vote.

The coming polls to be held within the next three months, with speculation pointing to end of July. And the planned move will be welcome to the electorate who require more time to vote, judging from previous plebiscites and it will give scholar children time to rest, since most schools are used as polling stations. 

General elections are scheduled to be held in Zimbabwe in July 2018 to elect the President and members of both houses of Parliament. According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the elections must be held before the official expiry date of the current parliamentary term, which is due to end on 21 August 2018.

The likelihood of the 2018 general elections taking place were called into doubt following the 2017 Zimbabwean coup. On 22 November 2017, a ZANU-PF spokesman said that Mnangagwa would serve out the remainder of Robert Mugabe's term before the elections due to be held during or before September 2018.

On 20 March 2018, Mnangagwa said he was looking forward to holding elections in July 2018.

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