The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has disowned the 2022 voters roll that is purportedly being analysed by private consultants and has unearthed serious irregularities leading to allegations of tampering in the voters roll that is going to be used in the March 26 by-elections.
Activists, Team Pachedu, expressed concern that the electoral body illegally moved 170 000 voters from their original constituencies and wards and changed electoral boundaries without notifying voters as stipulated by the law after having analysed the voters roll that was used in the 2018 general elections and the one for this year’s by-elections.
Speaking while addressing the press at ZEC headquarters yesterday, Acting CEO Jane Pamhidzirai Chigidyi said ZEC is not aware of the 2022 voters roll that is being analysed and the allegations carried with it.
“The commission wishes to dissociate itself with the copy of the alleged voters roll that was allegedly issued to the stakeholder concerned for the reason that it was not procedurally issued and for the record, it has reason to believe that there was connivance between certain members of its staff and a representative of the stakeholder to issue a tempered copy so as to suit that stakeholder’s narrative,” she said.
Mrs Chigidyi challenged those who accuse ZEC of tampering with the voters roll to come forward and prove their allegations.
“The commission wished to reiterate to all well-meaning Zimbabweans that the systems used in conducting elections are world class and there is no room for tampering with their votes. I challenge all Zimbabwean citizens, the next time they come across a person alleging that there is vote rigging in Zimbabwe to invoke the legal maxim ‘he who alleges must prove’. At least that person should be able to trace the incident of vote rigging and link it to a particular location, polling station or collation center and be able tell the time the incident occurred,” said Mrs Chigidyi.
ZEC refuted the allegations peddled on social media that it is employing the use of the CIO for the accreditation of observers and the current voter registration process.
“The commission has also taken note of the allegation on social media that it is using CIO personnel for purposes of accrediting observers for the forth coming by-elections and the voter registration exercise currently underway. It is further alleged that this conduct is unconstitutional and unlawful presumably in terms of section 239 of the constitution. The commission wishes to advice all its stakeholders to seek clarification first on issues they are not clear about to avoid publishing falsehoods which may mislead the electorate,” said Mrs Chigidyi.
According to Team Pachedu, a total of 170 867 addresses that were in the 2018 voters roll have been edited by ZEC between 2018 and 2022, with Glenview South having the highest number of edited addresses (19 758), followed by Mangwe, Lupane East, Zaka East, Luveve, Kuwadzana and Chiredzi North.
In recent revelations exposed by Team Pachedu, according to the ZEC voters roll a total of 33 people are registered to the same address of a house that is in Glenview 1. After thorough investigations and ground checks, it was found out that on 5 people stay at the house. The house belongs to a ZANU-PF primary election candidate for Glenview South.
ZEC immediately suspended some of its officials who were involved in the production of the voters roll which the commission has disowned for not following procedure and releasing the document without the authority and knowledge of the CEO.