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Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeElections 2023‘ZEC’s Incompetence Pushing Away Voters’

‘ZEC’s Incompetence Pushing Away Voters’

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The Election Resource Centre (ERC) has hit out at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) over the ‘shoddy looking’ voters’ roll which the electoral body availed to stakeholders ahead of the 26 March by-elections.

The latest voters’ roll raised eyebrows with reports of alleged tampering of names in an effort to manipulate election results in Kwekwe and has removed voter confidence in the electoral system.

In a statement Thursday, the ERC said it has received numerous complaints from citizens who allegedly had their polling stations and wards changed arbitrarily without due notice in accordance with section 35(2) Electoral Act.

“A closer study of the 2018 and the 2022 voter rolls, show inconsistencies in Harare East, Kwekwe, Mutasa South and Redcliff Constituencies amongst others.

“These ungazetted changes erode citizens and stakeholder confidence in the electoral process,” the ERC stated.

Section 35 (2) states that; “a notice of the alteration shall be published in the Gazette by the Commission or voter registration officer, as the case may be.

“ZEC must fully inform the voters of the reasons why these movements or changes are necessary or desirable,” which has not occurred.

“The ERC reiterates that ZEC must maintain the integrity of the voters’ roll, while also working to ensure that all electoral stakeholders are not intimidated when questioning the credibility of the voters’ roll,” the statement further reads.

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The Commission is on record stating that the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the deduplication exercises are used to clean errors found on the voters’ roll.

Therefore, ERC noted, these exercises should never result in errors in the voters’ roll availed to stakeholders.

In adherence to the principles of transparency, the ERC called on the ZEC to avail evidence and information necessary to restore public confidence in the voters’ roll, which includes addressing the changes to polling stations without due notification.

Meanwhile, a statement by the Citizen in Action Southern Africa (CIASA) has revealed that Zimbabweans are increasingly losing confidence in ZEC over electoral malpractices.

The report titled Capturing the Judiciary: Reality or Phantom, which was released last Friday, accused ZEC of selectively applying its powers, which has resulted in the public doubting its capacity to produce indisputable polls.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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