Zimbabwe begins voters’ roll-cleaning exercise ahead of referendum

Harare – Zimbabwe has started the process of cleaning up the voters’ roll ahead of a constitutional referendum and polls tentatively set for this year, the head of the country’s electoral body Simpson Mtambanengwe said Tuesday in Harare.\r\n

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Simpson Mtambanengwe said his organisation had begun formalities to engage the Registrar General’s Office to clean up the voters roll in preparation for the holding of the referendum later this year.

“In line with its mandate of conducting and supervising all elections and referendums in the country, ZEC has started working with the Registrar General’s office to ensure that the voters roll is in order in time for the referendum expected later this year,” Mtambanengwe told state television.

A report published by a local pro-democracy non-governmental organisation last week showed that 27 percent of names listed on Zimbabwe’s voters’ roll are of dead people.

The report compiled by the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) revealed an outdated and distorted voters’ roll that in reality is a little more than a mere register of people who were born or once lived in the country from the 1900s to date – whether they are still alive, dead or have long since left the country.

The ZESN called for a new register of voters to be prepared before elections that President Robert Mugabe has said must take place this year.

It revealed that 2,344 people appearing on the register were aged between 101 and 110 years old while nine others were born between 1890 and 1900.