The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has been challenged to prove that the March 26 by-election voters roll is clean as per its assistance after Team Pachedu, a pressure group, further unearthed irregularities.
The pressure group has been on a mission to take the electoral management board to task over allegedly tainted voters roll but the commission has maintained its innocence.
In a statement, Team Pachedu said despite the press conference by ZEC last week meant to sanitize the issue, questions are still to be answered regards the anomalies found.
“Team Pachedu has taken note of Zec’s Press statement in ‘Response to allegations of Rigging’. We have watched the Press conference held by Zec on February 18, 2022. Unfortunately, despite issuing the Press statement and subsequently conveying a Press conference, the commission still has failed to provide satisfactory explanations for the concerns and anomalies that we raised,” the pressure group said.
The group further asked why ZEC had accepted registrants with unknown or unnamed residential addresses, which further fueled fears of voter rigging.
“The law requires each voter to have proof of residence and Zec commissioners should know better than to accept unknown addresses.”
Team Pachedu accused Zec of lacking transparency and competency, adding that accepting unnamed addresses was in violation of section 22(a) of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that a voter registration officer has the power to demand any information reasonably necessary to enable the voter registration officer to ascertain whether the claimant was eligible as a voter.
“We would like to remind Zec of its mandate to conduct free, fair and transparent elections while maintaining independence from any political party,” it said.
Last week, ZEC suspended officials it accused of leaking a defective copy of the voters roll to be used in the March 26 by-elections to Pachedu.
The commission distanced itself from the tainted voters’ roll.
“The commission wishes to dissociate itself with the copy of the alleged voters roll that was allegedly issued to the stakeholder concerned because 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 to suit that stakeholder’s narrative,” ZEC acting chief elections officer Jane Pamhidzirai Chigidji said.