South African firm to supply paper for Zimbabwe ballots: Report

A South African firm will provide paper for the ballots in this year’s election in Zimbabwe, and the papers themselves will be printed inside the country, a newspaper said on Friday.

“The Zimbabwe Independent understands that South Africa-based Mondi Shanduka had been contracted to supply newsprint to be used for printing ballot papers,” the paper said.

The printing of the more than five million voting papers remains a source of contention: the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had wanted the ballots printed outside the country under close observation by it and other political players.

Parties to observe printing

It also objected to a decision by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to purchase the ballot papers through a direct tender, rather than an open one. ZEC said this had been necessitated by time and security factors.

An unnamed ZEC official told the paper: “Traditionally the ballot papers have been printed locally and that should continue. The newsprint for this exercise will be acquired from South Africa and parties are going to be invited to observe the printing process of the ballot papers.”