Tinashe Sambiri|Cornered Zimbabwe Electoral Commission( ZEC) is battling to spruce up its battered image following clear evidence of rigging brought forward by pressure groups.
Vibrant pressure group Team Pachedu has pointed out that ZEC is manipulating electoral processes in a bid to tilt votes in favour of Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF party.
Below is ZEC’s feeble attempt to clear rigging allegations…
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to dismiss allegations of rigging purportedly exposed by an analysis of a national voters’ roll requested by a political party as pure malice bent on diminishing the public’s confidence on the voters’ roll and the country’s electoral processes. The so-called analyses being posted on social media platforms are clearly targeted at confusing the electorate and tarnishing the image of the Commission.
The Commission wishes to make it clear that any voters’ roll that is requested in terms ofsection21(3) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) is a valid document as at the date of issue and is subject to subsequent addition of any new registrants or removal of voters because of death or disqualification. Please note that voter registration and the maintenance of the voters’ roll is a continuous process in terms of section 17A of the Electoral Act Thus, the removal of deceased voters, duplicates and other malcontents is a continuous exercise necessary for the update of the voters roll in an effort to keep it accurate, complete and current. The state of the voters roll is always very fluid save for cases where rt is deemed dosed for purposes of an election in terms of sections 26A and 121A of the Electoral Act, as the case may be, and in this instance, for wards and constituencies being contested on the 26 March 2022 by-elections whose voters’ rolls have already been closed and compiled.
The public should also know that the Commission has come across a few cases of several different people using the same national identity cards and sometimes, the same physical addresses to register as voters. Investigations have revealed that there are some people who engage in the illegal practice of giving their identity documents to relatives for use. In some cases, the identity documents are stolen and used without the owner’s knowledge. The Commission’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) does not pock such anomalies since the fingerprints of the registrants are different because they are indeed different people sharing the same identity cards. However, when the Commission identifies such irregularities, it removes the entries from the voters’ roll and puts them on an exclusion list pending regularisation of the identities by the Civil Registry.
Regarding allegations of too many transfers, the public is hereby informed that the Electoral Law permits any voter who has become resident in another constituency or ward to transfer their registration to that constituency or ward upon production of their proof of identity and requisite residence documents. It is incumbent upon registered voters resident in that constituency or ward to object to the new registration if they feel that that is not the case. ZEC has no authority to deny a voter his or her right to transfer.
The Commission would like to state that the allocation of polling stations to registrants is purely determined by their proofs of residence presented to voter registration officers. Voter registration officers are not duty-bound to go and physically check whether
the details on the affidavits and other proofs of residence presented to them by prospective registrants are correct or not. It behoves on all eligible voters and other stakeholders to act in good faith in relation to all electoral processes and the public is reminded that an affidavit is a sworn statement and If one presents fake information on affidavits used as proof of residence, they commit an offence of perjury.
ZEC is not secretly changing boundaries as alleged by the so-called analysts and no boundary delimitation has started. Delimitation is a public exercise involving stakeholder consultations and it shall only commence after the conclusion of the national population census. The allegations are therefore unfounded and meant only to tarnish the image of the Commission and to mislead stakeholders.
The Electorate is advised that the Commission, in line with the provisions of the law, wiN publish a notice of its intention to commence the delimitation exercise and the public will be informed of this development in due course.
Chief Elections Officer
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission