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ZEC under fire over voters roll

by Staff reporter
29 May 2023 at 06:36hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has come under intense scrutiny after registered voters and the opposition identified several anomalies during the voters roll inspection exercise which started on Saturday.

The voters roll inspection commenced on Saturday and will end on May 31 according to ZEC.

However, the process which initially got off to a slow start on Saturday has lifted the lid on a litany of discrepancies just three months before the 2023 harmonised elections

Several CCC members including siting MPs alleged their names were not appearing on the voters roll yesterday while some opposition members alleged ZEC had only pitched up tents but did not turn out to serve the registered voters.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said a lot of anomalies had been identified on the voters roll and they have notified the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

"Anomalies have been picked up in the voters' roll across a number of provinces and these have been drawn to the attention of ZEC," Mahere said in an interview with on Sunday.

"We are concerned at the degree of errors which, three months before the election, should be minimal."

Mahere highlighted the failure by ZEC to start the exercise on time after some centers opened late in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday.

"We are concerned at the failure by ZEC to commence the process at a number of stations for what they term ‘logistical challenges', particularly given that they have a constitutional obligation to ensure the election is free, fair, credible and verifiable.

"Our change champions have been deployed in inspection stations across the nation to ensure the inspection process is rigorously carried out in line with our Defend Big campaign," said Mahere urging Zec to address the logistical issues and voters' roll errors urgently.

"The electronic roll must be availed and it must be independently audited in line with the SADC guidelines on elections and international best practice."

According to Mahere, registered party members had turned out in their numbers to inspect the voters' roll but sadly, their names did not appear on the voters' roll.

"We are hugely encouraged by the enormous number of citizens who've turned out to inspect the voters' roll across the country."

Those opposition members whose names were not on the voters' roll included Welshman Ncube who wrote on Twitter:

"Today l went to check my name at the Burnside tent polling station where l always vote. I am not on that roll. I checked on the ZEC electronic roll and their system says my details Can not be found. This is in spite of the fact that when l last checked last month, my name was there," Ncube said.

Bulawayo Central MP Nicola Watson also revealed on Twitter that her name was not on the voters roll.

"I went to check my name on the voters roll at Christ the King and my name is not there yet three of those who live at my address are. @ZECzim are you serious how does a sitting MP not appear on the voters roll," Watson quipped.

A local data analysis and electoral advocacy group, Team Pachedu over the weekend accused ZEC of creating polling stations with identical polling station codes.

"We have found 311 polling stations whose wards changed recently and now contradict both the final delimitation report and the polling station codes. The most affected are in Mberengwa (192). Mutasa (106) and Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (7). ZEC explain these gross anomalies!" Team Pachedu said on Twitter.

It explained that the polling station code is a database primary key that should never have duplicate codes.

"This is a serious disaster unfolding."

ZEC is yet to respond to the allegations.

Team Pachedu said it had embarked on a vote protection project as it intensifies it oversight efforts to safeguard the vote in the upcoming election.

ZEC had earlier scheduled the start of the inspection exercise for May 26, 2023, before rescheduling it for  Saturday.

The electoral body made a last-minute notification to the public yesterday that it would consider extending the exercise after facing logistical challenges.

Source - NewZimbabwe