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'Voters' roll must be audited before elections' CCC's folly is no excuse for granting Zanu PF legitimacy again

31 May 2023 at 09:09hrs | Views
A year or so ago, Team Pachedu warned that the voters' roll was in shambles. ZEC denied the accusation by denying ownership of the voters' roll Team Pachedu have used for their analysis. Team Pachedu requested an official copy of the voters' roll from ZEC and the Commission refused to issue one.

Team Pachedu has called for the voters' roll to be properly audited to iron out some of the glaring errors they had uncovered. The law and common sense demands a verified voters' roll. ZEC has never ever produced a verified voters' roll. Never ever!

Last week ZEC announced that individuals who expect their names to be on the 2023 voters' roll must visit the 11 000 or so centres to check that they are indeed on the voters' roll. They must check their names and ID details are correct and take note of find the name of the designated Polling Station where they will vote.

It should be noted that the centres above will be open for a week. There are about 5 million registered voters and it is unrealistic to expect everyone of the 5 million to inspect the voters' roll in a week particularly since the voters' roll is Polling Station specific. But most important of all, this inspection is no substitute for a proper voters' roll audit. ZEC has not given away any copies of the voters' roll for the purpose of a voters' roll audit.  

After the three days of inspecting the voters' roll many have found their names missing from the voters' roll or the designated Polling Station was some other than the one they expected, a challenge for the IT savvy.

"The ZEC inspection process is ludicrously chaotic. Having finally thought I had located where I was registered - at Hillside Bowling Club - I took the precaution of going there to check - and I am not on the roll there," complained David Coltart, CCC Treasurer General.

"After a day of perseverance I have finally now found that I am registered to vote after all but at a polling stations which is about 8 kms from my house - Bulawayo Bowling Club, not at Burnside Garage which I have always been registered at and which is only 2 kilometres from my house.

"This has been done without my knowledge and makes no sense whatsoever because I am still registered in Ward 4 and both polling stations are in Ward 4. ZEC is required by law to notify me of changes in terms of section 35(2) of the Electoral Act which it has never done."

He was lucky to be IT literate, many of the voters are not, and to be moving to a Polling Station 8 kms from his home, some have been moved 60 kms!

"Why does ZEC take the voters' roll to the people? It is because we want the voters themselves who are the owners of the voters' roll to audit the roll by checking their names and their details," ZEC Chief Elections Officer Utloile Silaigwana told State media.

"In the event there are anomalies detected by the voters, ZEC will ensure they are corrected."

How exactly would these anomalies be put right, ZEC did not explain.

It is common knowledge that Zanu PF has carried out a mass voter registration exercise in the last few months and the names of the new registrants would not appear on the voters' roll - supposedly because it was too late to include their names. There are video of people being bused from Domboshava and Goromonzi, rural areas, to register in Harare urban areas. On voting day the individuals will vote in their rural area and then busing into the urban area to vote again even though they are not on the voters' roll. They will use their voter registration slip as proof of their right to vote.

So, in the pretext of correcting anomalies in the voters' roll even new complexities in the electoral system are being introduced, the more chaotic the system become the greater the opportunities rig the process. It is condescending, to say the least, for ZEC to even suggest this one week-long inspection is an "audit"! An individual will not know a Zanu PF supporter who casted multiple votes, for example.

"Many of my followers are saying that their names are simultaneously appearing at different polling stations," commented Hopewell Chin'ono.

"Why is this dangerous?

"The person who is doing this knows exactly the number of people this has been done to.

"If their candidate loses the election, they will then take those duplicates and put them under their candidate as his votes.

"The numbers will tally and that is it, another rigged election.

"The Voters Roll MUST be released and audited ASAP.

"The opposition will be lying if it says it has a plan for this, it DOESN'T!"

Hopewell Chin'ono is spot on all the above points except for that last bit. Yes Nelson Chamisa and his CCC friends are lying that they have a plan to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections. They do not have a plan. They not only know that Zanu PF is rigging the election but, most significantly, they KNOW that by participating in these flawed elections they are giving Zanu PF legitimacy and thus perpetuating the dictatorship and the suffering of the masses. And yet they still participate regardless because they also know that Zanu PF is offering a few gravy train seats to entice the opposition to participate. They have found this bribe irresistible.

"The worst aspect for me about the failure to agree a coalition was that both MDCs couldn't now do the obvious - withdraw from the (2013) elections," confessed Coltart in his Book, The Struggle Continues 50 years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe.

"The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility."

Many people have found it very hard swallow the political reality that MDC/CCC leaders would participate in a flawed elections process to give Zanu PF legitimacy and forfeit the nation's chance to implement the reforms and hold free elections for the sake of 30 pieces of silver. When after hearing it from the horse's mouth, Coltart's confession in black and white!

Coltart's confession makes sense when read in the context of what happened the 2008 to 2013 GNU. The primary purpose of the GNU was to implement the democratic reforms to stop Zanu PF rigging future elections. The task of implementing the reforms was entrusted to Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends. They failed to implement even one token reform for the same reasons they have participated in these flawed elections to give Zanu PF legitimacy - greed and breathtakingly incompetent.

The ongoing voters' roll inspection has uncovered so many anomalies in the voters' roll it is clear Zanu PF is rigging these elections. The "voters roll MUST be released and audited before the election. The process is "so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step is to withdraw".  The opposition will participate regardless but only because they have lost political credibility, they participation must not be given as an excuse for granting Zanu PF political legitimacy.

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