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Faz manipulates voters' roll, claims CCC

by Staff reporter
09 Jul 2023 at 14:25hrs | Views
THE opposition CCC fears the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is manipulating the voters' roll in favour of Zanu-PF, hence the commission's failure to avail the electronic copy to candidates, a senior official said.

Zimbabwe will hold general elections on 23 August, but Zec is yet to avail the voters' roll to candidates.

Section 21 of the Electoral Act mandates Zec to release the voters' roll to nominated candidates.

It reads: "Within a reasonable period of time after nomination day in an election, the Commission (Zec) shall provide: "(a) free of charge, to every nominated candidate, one copy in electronic form of the voters' roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated; and (b) at the request of any nominated candidate, and on payment of the prescribed fee, one copy in printed form of the voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated."

Ellen Shiriyedenga, a senior officer in the CCC's election department, said: "With regards to the voters' roll, we have done two things. First, we wrote to Zec on the 24th of June requesting to purchase the voters' roll as per requirement of the law. But, up to now we have not received a response from Zec in that regard.

"Remember, according to the Electoral Act, anyone can purchase the voters' roll as long as you are a citizen. So, we have not received a response. Secondly, we engaged Zec with regards to the voters' roll for our candidates for council and Parliament."

"We were told that they were in the process of preparing the voters' roll. So, we await to hear from Zec to see if they will honour their promise in terms of giving our candidates the voters' roll as required by the Electoral Act."

Zec has also failed to rectify anomalies unearthed in the chaotic voter inspection process.

"But, let me reiterate the fact that we have questions with the credibility of the voters' roll. Given that we had a voters' roll inspection last month which ended on the first of June, which unearthed anomalies where a lot of people were removed from the voters' roll.

"A lot of people were displaced from their traditional polling stations and placed in stations that were faraway from their areas to areas that are more than 10 kilometres away. So, we wrote Zec citing all those anomalies and sought audience with Zec to rectify them.

"Unfortunately, we did not get a response from Zec to the effect of rectifying those areas. This is why we are keen to check out the voters' roll that will be given to our people. This is why we are keen to check out the voters' roll so that we are able to conduct our separate audit to ensure that all those anomalies and discrepancies we observed have been rectified," she said.

The voters' roll has also been under scrutiny under suspicions of tampering by Zanu-PF-affiliated Forever Associates Zimbabwe (Faz).

As previously reported by The NewsHawks, Faz, which has taken over election processes, has also been intimidating people, particularly in rural areas, collecting voter information, rolling out door-to-door campaigns, night vigils, community events, technology-based messaging while monitoring all stages of the electoral process.

Faz, which took over the just-ended voter inspection process that saw several opposition politicians and members failing to locate their names on the registers, fomenting a lot of confusion.

With three members in every ward, Faz has also been managing Zanu-PF's cell registers throughout the country.

CCC has also challenged Zec's failure to release the voters' roll in court.

In March, Harare North opposition lawmaker Allan Markham filed a Supreme Court appeal after his request for the release of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) electronic voters' roll was blocked by the High Court.

The appeal was blocked by High Court Justice Never Katiyo citing security reasons, which critics claim reflects lack of democracy in Zimbabwe.

Markham's Supreme Court appeal has also been dismissed on grounds of being defective. Markham filed his appeal using a transcribed record instead of written reasons by the High Court.

Source - newshawks