New Voters' Roll For Zimbabwe – ISS
Harare,- A South African based Institute of Security Studies (ISS) has called for a new voters' roll for Zimbabwe before fresh elections are held.
The ISS report said Zimbabwe had four times higher the number of centenarians on its voters roll when compared to its former colonial master Britain, while people as young as two year olds were appearing as eligible voters.
“Zimbabwe’s voter’s roll is beyond redemption and cannot even be used as one of the building blocks in the construction of a new and authoritative voters’ roll. It simply has to be scrapped completely,” the report recommends.
The report, titled “Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe” was handed over to Zimbabwean authorities on Saturday. It is based on the latest version of the voters roll which shows 41 119 centenarians.
“The UK, with a total population of over 60 million and an average life expectancy of more than 30 years longer than Zimbabwe’s, has only 10 000 centenarians,” the report said raising doubts on the authenticity of the figure.
According to the report, there are 19, 626 centenarians who are women, while 21,056 are men and 437 are of “uncertain gender”. The report states that 16 828 registered voters have the same date of birth: January 1, 1901. The report also shows that in President Robert Mugabe home area— Zvimba, there are 1 101 of these 110-year-olds.
The ISS report said in Mount Darwin East, researchers found 118 registered voters were older than 100 years; the majority were born on January 1 1901; nine were born on January 1, 1905; and 25 were born on January 1, 1910.
In January, a report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) indicated that one third of the names appearing on voters roll were dead while more than 2 000 were more than 100 years old.
The issue of the voters roll is one of the major sticking point between Zanu (PF’s) President Robert Mugabe and leader of the mainstream Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ahead of the elections–whose dates are yet to be announced.