THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Ongoing electoral processes analysed
    Youth Forum
    July 26, 2013

    The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute yesterday, launched a report entitled Electoral Battleground: Voters’ Roll Rigmarole which examines the ongoing electoral process focusing on the mobile registration process. The report demonstrates how disarrayed the process is and its insufficiency in delivering credible, free and fair elections. The launch was attended by different members of the civil society, some delegates from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and members of the media.

    Speaking at the launch of the report, the chairperson of ZDI noted that cases of politically motivated violence have been very low prior to the July 31, 2013 elections as compared to the 2008 scenario. “However, the freeness and fairness of elections is not defined by the mere absence of violence, there is need for transparency, openness and involvement but the Zimbabwean case is different,” Ruhanya noted. There have been annotations on how the whole process has been manipulated at every stage, starting from the mobile voter registration process to the voter’s role as a document right into the casting of the votes. The report highlights some of the ways the system has been manipulated.

    To begin with, the mobile voter registration was chaotic, restrictive and discriminatory. ZEC failed to fully publicize the mobile voter registration which disadvantaged a lot of prospective voters who could not register because they were not well informed about the process. To further suppress the number of people who would register as voters, ZEC put in place some restrictive voter registration requirements which consequently delimited people from registering.

    In addition, the process was crafted to disenfranchise the so-called aliens. Potential registrants faced a plethora of challenges, not only in acquiring the required documents but also in registering and most of them could not register as voters because of the restrictive measures. All the processes were slow and frustrating which led to the withdrawal of multiple prospective voters and there were no efforts to help these people.

    The distribution of the mobile voter registration centres was also outlined as one major anomaly in the mobile voter registration process. The results demonstrated that there was a highly disproportionate distribution with some provinces with a high contribution to the national population having fewer registration centres for example, Harare, a province which makes one of the highest contributions to the national population with 29 constituencies had only 18 registration centres while Matebeleland North with only 13 constituencies and less population had 85 registration centres. This obviously has a huge bearing in dismissing the freeness and fairness of elections.

    These were some of the issues highlighted in the report and some of the recommendations given include the auditing of the voters’ roll by every player, the monitoring of the polling stations by observers so that those who are registered to vote will be the only ones to cast their votes, ZEC to contribute towards free and fair elections through transparency and for security forces not to interfere in the political and electoral processes of the state.

    People should agree to say that the voters’ roll is a legitimate document to be used for authentic elections and it is the one that determines the freeness and fairness of those elections. This raises questions on the chaotic and shambolic Zimbabwean voter’s roll.

    Zimbabweans will not have an opportunity to analyse the voters’ roll as it will be released on the eleventh hour after all has been done to distort the numbers and the registered voters appearing on the voters’ roll. All this will only be noticed when it is already too late, as the voters’ roll will not be made available for Zimbabwean people to see. It has been argued that it is not accidental that the voters’ roll is not in the hands of the people, it has always been manipulated even in the past elections and so has the whole system.

    Procedural democracy emanates from the credibility of the whole electoral process. In the Zimbabwean case, flags are already being raised perceiving the past processes that have been manipulated with special attention to the voters’ roll and the chaotic special vote.

    5 Days to go!!!! Let us go and vote in peace, the perfect chance to speak our minds out!!!!

    Visit the Youth Forum fact sheet

    Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.