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Zec tightens grip on Zimbabwe voters roll

by Staff reporter
18 Oct 2022 at 00:59hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says it will set "reasonable conditions" on availing the voter roll to protect it against possible tampering.

In a statement titled: Enhancing Security of the Voters Roll posted on Twitter yesterday, Zec spokesperson Jasper Mangwana said it would avail the electronic voters roll on a platform only accessible to those approved  by the commission.

"Zec has always availed this voters roll on a CD in a format, analysable and searchable," Mangwana said. "The voters roll shall be kept at all Zec offices for public inspection, free of charge, during ordinary working hours by individuals and they may make written notes if need be.  Zec has provided the USSD (unstructured supplementary service data) and biometric voter registration inspection portal platforms for easy inspection by individuals.  Section 21(7) (says): where a voters roll is provided in electronic format, it should be 1. In a format that it may not be altered.  Zec may provide reasonable conditions on the provision of the voters roll to prevent it from being commercialised or used for other purposes unconnected to elections. Technology has moved, CD (compact disk) format which was issued could be altered and duplicated so many times causing alarm and despondency to the electorate hence the need to enhance security and introduce a platform only for those approved to access the voters roll by Zec that cannot be altered."

Election watchdogs, among them Team Pachedu, have unearthed several discrepancies and have been poking holes on a voters roll which Zec says has been leaked.

The discrepancies included the alleged movement of 170 000 voters from their constituencies and wards and the creation of additional polling stations under unclear circumstances.

Zec has been under pressure from political parties and civil society organisations who alleged that they tamper with the voters roll to rig the election in favour of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

In June this year Zec said it had picked over 180 000 errors on the voters roll, a figure election watchdogs said was too huge and could have a strong bearing on the outcome of next year's elections.

Meanwhile, Zec said it had started its consultation process with local authorities to split or merge wards that have registered voters above or below the average threshold.

Zec on Sunday released voter population figures that will be used to determine the constituencies and/or wards that shall be divided in the delimitation exercise.

In a notice, Zec said as of March 31, 2022 Harare Metropolitan had the highest number of registered voters of ( 102, followed by Midlands with 762 928), while Bulawayo Metropolitan had the least number with 270 938.

In an interview with NewsDay, Zec chief elections officer Team Pachedusaid: "The number of constituencies will remain the same, that is 210 throughout the country despite the changes that may occur in the delimitation process. But the number of wards is determined by the outcome of the consolidation with the council. Splitting of the wards also depends on the capacity of the local authority to manage more wards in its area."

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe