Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF retains Goromonzi West
Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2008

By Zvamaida Murwira and Sydney Kawadza
April 23, 2008
The Herald

ZANU-PF has retained Goromonzi West House of Assembly and Senate seats in the first batch of poll recount results released last night while the Sadc observer team says it is satisfied with the vote recounting process currently underway in 23 constituencies.

The ruling party gained one vote in the House of Assembly recount, pushing the result to 6 194 against MDC-T's 5 931 while the results for the Senate remained unchanged at 5 672.

The Goromonzi West recount was one of the two recounts requested by MDC-T while Zanu-PF requested 21 others.

In Zvimba North, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials are expecting to wrap up the recount today.

Mashonaland West provincial elections officer Mr Michael Guzha yesterday said the exercise was still going on with no hitches.

"We are currently clearing Ward 18 and then work on Ward 30 and Ward 31 that have a total of 14 polling stations," he said.

Sadc director of politics, defence and security at the regional bloc's secretariat Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Tanki Mothae said they had deployed almost 60 observers for the recounting process.

"Everything is going on smoothly. There are good relations between the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, political parties' polling agents and observers. We have not received any problems so far.

"We are receiving reports from our teams on the ground, but so far we have not heard any reports of any irregularity, like tampering with ballot boxes for example. We are satisfied with the process," said Rtd Lt-Col Mothae.

Angolan Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Mr Marcos Barrica, who headed the initial Sadc observer team which was in the country for the March 29 elections, is also heading the current team that arrived in the country last Wednesday and Friday.

He said the team was drawn from all the Sadc countries and would be in the country until the whole process was complete.

The Sadc observer team, along with many other foreign observers, endorsed the March poll as free and fair.

The foreign observers included the Pan African Parliament, the African Union, and Comesa, among others.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, which is also observing the recounting process, yesterday said it was not yet in a position to comment.

ZEC yesterday said the recounting process was expected to be completed in Goromonzi West today and that the exercise was at various stages in the other 22 constituencies.

The commission's deputy chief elections officer responsible for operations Mr Utloile Silaigwana said the process had taken longer than anticipated because of the meticulous verification process involved.

"Recounting is going on well but rather on a slow pace than had been anticipated because the agents want to verify one or two things.

"There is progress and maybe we should be through in Goromonzi West by tomorrow (today). In the other constituencies, the recounting is at varying stages," he said.

Mr Silaigwana said results from the recounting would be announced in the constituencies.

Recounts are being carried out in Chimanimani West, Mutare West, Bikita West, Bikita South, Bulilima East, Zhombe, Zaka West, Zvimba North, Silobela, Chiredzi North, Mberengwa East, West, South and North, and Gutu South, North and Central.

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