ZIMBABWE moved closer to the general election whose date remains a mystery after poll management body the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced that the provisional voters’ roll will go up for inspection mid next month.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Campaigning is currently in full-swing with political parties fine-tuning their candidate list while Zec was readying itself for the mammoth task.

Yesterday, Zec acting chief elections officer, Utoile Silaigwana, in a statement, said the exercise will allow the commission to remove deceased people from the roll.

“It is, hereby, notified for the general public that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) shall lay one of the country’s provisional voters’ roll inspection by the public from May 19 to 29, 2018 in accordance with section 21 of the Electoral Act.

“The purpose of the provisional voters’ roll inspection is to allow members of the public to check if their details were correctly captured and if not, have the anomalies corrected. The electorate should bring burial orders or deaths certificates for their deceased registered relatives so that they are removed from the provisional voters’ roll,” Silaigwana said.

The roll of voters remains one of the most contentious points in Zimbabwe’s political play-field amid claims Zanu PF uses the roll to manipulate elections by stuffing it with dead people, as well as young ones who were ineligible to vote.

Opposition parties continue to raise red flags around the construction of the voters’ roll, arguing the registration process remains skewed in favour of Zanu PF’s rural strongholds.

Zec yesterday said citizens can still move from one polling station to another as long as they can provide proof of their new residence.

Silaigwana, however, moved to pre-empt criticism, adding the public should expect “some errors”.

“Registrants may also take the opportunity to transfer their registration to appropriate polling stations based on new proof of residence. Once all the corrections have been taken on board, the commission will then produce the final voters’ roll that will be used in the forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections.

“This means that the provisional voters’ roll may undoubtedly contain some errors and, therefore, registrants are urged to go and inspect the voters’ roll. The commission will open inspection centers at all polling stations,” he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has indicated the country could go to the polls in July this year, but is yet to proclaim the date.