By- The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said it had removed the names of 32 010 dead people on the voters’ roll.
According to the state media, the list of the deceased persons was published in the Government Gazette under General Notice 1197 of 2022 by the chief elections officer, Mr Utloile Silaigwana.
“The names of those persons will be removed from the voters roll unless notice of appeal is given to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. By means of this notice, notification is made to any voter on the First Schedule who may be alive to lodge an objection at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Mahachi Quantum, 1, Nelson Mandela Avenue, corner Kaguvi Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare, and at the respective Commission Provincial Offices, to the inclusion of his or her name in the First Schedule using the form prescribed in the Second Schedule no later than seven days from the date of publication of this notice,” Mr Silaigwana said.
In an interview, ZEC spokesperson Mr Jasper Mangwana said the electoral body adheres to its constitutional mandate and always removes names of dead people from the voters’ roll.
“The commission has always been gazetting names of the deceased persons to ensure that if there is any objection to the removal of these people from the voters’ roll it is brought to the attention of the Commission”.
He said this is a continuous process that the commission has always been doing when it receives a list of deceased persons from the Registrar General.
“We then check for those that are on the voters’ roll and we then advertise that if there is any objection considering that these days there are issues of identity theft. If someone objects to the removal of the deceased persons from the roll because they are alive, that is corrected.
“This is just the process the Commission does after the gazetting. If there’s no objection then the Commission will proceed to remove this person from the voters’ roll”.
With such due diligence followed, Mr Mangwana said issues around ghost voters are merely sideshows.
“How do they vote if they are not alive? Who is going to approach a polling station if they are dead? So the process is very clear and promotes the integrity of the voters roll”.
However, there are challenges for the Commission because not everyone is interested in obtaining a death certificate, thus in some instances the names of deceased persons might not be struck off from the voters’ roll.
“The Commission is allowing other stakeholders or relatives to bring to our attention deaths of individuals that can assist us to have a clean roll,” said Mr Mangwana.