By Desire Tshuma
The Zimbabwe Republic Police clarifies the exact position with regard to the deployment of police officers at polling stations and voting process by illiterate and physically handicapped voters .
,The police are deployed at polling stations to ensure that law and order is maintained in line with the provisions of the constitution of Zimbabwe and the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13. , said Senior Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.
He said ZRP is aware of allegations made by some political parties and other civic organisations to some election observers concerning police officers, role and voting by illiterate and physically handicapped voters.
According to the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 Section 59 く1:(b in a situation were an illiterate and handicapped voter does not have a person of his or her own :(confidante:) to assist him or her to exercise his or her right to vote, the Electoral Act provides that the presiding officer must assist the voter in the presence of two electoral officers or employees of ZEC and the police officer on duty .
The specific assistence given to the voter is not done by a police officer. It is actually the mandate of the Presiding Officer who will assist in the presence of electoral officer and police officer.
The police officer is called to ensure law and order is maintained . Thereafter the presiding officer must record particulars of assisted voter in terms of Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 .
‘Allegations that police officers have sole responsibility of assisting illiterate and physically handicapped voters are therefore not correct and must be dismissed with the contempt they deserve ‘added Ass Com Nyathi .
He concluded by saying the ZRP assures the public that it is ready to ensure a peaceful environment exist in the country for the hold of free ,fair and credible elections on 23 August 2023 elections. He also urged political parties to be exemplary in conduct and avoid the use of inflammatory or divisive language in their messages to the public