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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's 2023 poll figures not adding up

by Staff reporter
03 Dec 2023 at 17:41hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has been accused of inflating the number of voters while announcing results of the disputed August elections.

This came out from a study that was conducted by the Election Resources Centre (ERC) to understand how Zimbabweans vote in elections, denting the credibility of poll outcome.

According to findings of the ERC study, there were 3 820 more voters from those that were in the final voters roll that was availed to political parties and candidates ahead of the elections.

"There were 6 623 511 registered voters on the 2023 voter roll, an increase of 927 805 voters from the 2018 harmonised election voters roll," ERC legal and advocacy officer, Takunda Tsunga said while presenting the findings of the study in Harare last week.

"The ERC notes inconsistencies and changes between voter figures announced by the Zec chairperson on August 25, 2023 and those availed on the voter roll given to candidates in violation of section 21 of the Electoral Act."

Zec deputy chief elections officer Rodney simukai Kiwa was not picking calls when this publication tried to get his comment on the matter.

Chief elections officer Uitoile silaigwana's mobile line was not reachable.

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa has refused to accept the results of the elections in which President

Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner.

Chamisa said there was 'gigantic fraud'.

Several election observers which include those from the European Union and the southern African Development Community have discredited the polls.

The ERC also noted various malpractices, which included failure by Zec to display the voters' roll outside some polling stations 48 hours before polling.

It also noted incidents where an individual would assist multiple voters at some polling stations in violation of the Electoral Act.

It decried a decline in voter turnout from 84.8% in the 2018 election to 68.9% in the 2023 polls.

"The decline in voter turnout can be attributed to the loss of confidence in the ability of elections to produce results that are not contested in Zimbabwe," ERC said.

"An ERC study on the Nature of Youth's Participation in Electoral and Political Processes in Zimbabwe conducted in May 2023, noted that 39% of youth in Bulawayo and Harare Metropolitan provinces, had not registered to vote because they did not trust the electoral processes."

"Other reasons cited for not voting were that the electorate had no confidence in the candidates to bring change, violence experienced in previous elections and the cumbersome voter registration procedures."

Source - the standard