REPORTS that independent biometric voter registration (BVR) and data science experts analysing the voters’ roll have unearthed a suspected loophole that could have a negative effect on the credibility of the coming election, where the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has set up several “shady” polling stations, with one of them meant cater for only two voters, are disturbing, regrettable and unfortunate to say the least.
What is even more disturbing is the fact that this unpalatable information is coming on the back of other reports that the Priscilla Chigumba-led Zec has also reportedly issued a register of voters with suspected “ghost voters” on its final BVR.
This is unprecedented, especially as the Zec actions could spoil an otherwise peaceful campaign period by the over 55 of the 133 political parties seeking to get a mandate to represent Zimbabweans on July 30.
Zec must explain the rationale behind the setting up of a whole polling station located at Kudzwe turn-off in Mudzi North constituency, Mashonaland East province, to reportedly serve an astonishing two registered voters. There is no better illustration of incompetence if this is proven to be true.
This is a sad development and a blemish on the conduct of Zec, an organisation that should remain independent to produce a free, fair and credible election result.
Our role is to inform Zimbabweans about the developments taking place in the planning of the country’s crucial polls. On this, we will not hold back or be scared.
Zimbabweans would love to have this election to be free and credible. The challenge is actually on Zec to explain the anomalies that have been flagged on the register of voters. Our people have a right to a clean voters’ roll, let alone the politicians contesting the poll. It’s critical for Zimbabwe’s readmission into the international fold after years in the cold. Otherwise Zec would be working against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision of a more inclusive society that takes its place among the international family of nations. Rather than stick their heads in the sand like an ostrich, Zec should be more magnanimous and find solutions before we have another disputed election.
We have no doubt that anything less than a credible, free and fair poll could throw the country into a mess. We love our country, and it is our hope that Zec would in its final planning phase at least try to clean the voters’ roll for a better Zimbabwe.
We can assure Chigumba that the media does not seek a confrontation with her, Zec or her handlers, but only seek to adequately inform and provide a platform for citizens to interact and be involved in their governance issues. We believe Zimbabweans are seeking a just election this time around to emancipate themselves from the shackles of poverty and the bad leadership that had become synonymous with this country over the last two decades or so.
Chigumba must appreciate that the key point, from the reports by the media, is that the voters’ roll in its current state and form, is not fit for purpose, and unless most of the issues are redressed in the best interest of the voters and in the interest of the credibility of Zec, the possibilities of a contested outcome are inevitable.