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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles


  • A clean and up to date voter’s roll key to credible elections
    Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ)
    July 02, 2013

    The existence of an accurate and up-to-date voter’s register goes far in fulfilling the democratizing function of elections. Before elections are held, State authorities should ensure that there is in place a clean voter’s roll to allow all eligible voters to fully participate in the elections. Unfortunately the current voter’s roll is in shambles and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) recently admitted that the voter’s register is in a bad state.

    The Centre for Community Development In Zimbabwe (CCDZ) is worried about the reports of tampering with the voter’s roll by some players in the Inclusive government. We reiterate our calls that ZEC must be fully in charge of all electoral issues, including the compilation of the voter’s roll. CCDZ and other civil society organizations have unearthed various anomalies in the ongoing voter registration process including the politicization of the whole exercise. In some areas, CCDZ witnessed deliberate efforts to disenfranchise some citizens because of their political affiliation. In rural areas some traditional leaders are denying known MDC activists proof of residence to register as voters whilst those believed to be ZANU-PF supporters are being registered without any hassles. Although the proof of registration requirement has been waived, we still believe that many people have been unfairly treated by partisan traditional leaders.

    The ongoing voter registration exercise must be insulated from party politics. In some areas, CCDZ volunteers witnessed people being assisted to register as voters at some centres by politicians and war veterans. In Midlands at Zalova Farm, some war veterans ferried voters who went straight in front of the queue and were assisted without producing any proof of residence or completing the affidavit forms. There are some instances where some headman (traditional leaders) brought villagers to registration centres and simply said: “Ndauya nevanhu vangu kuzonyoresa” (I have come with my people to have them registered).

    The SADC and AU guidelines governing conduct of democratic elections recognize the importance of voter registration in the electoral process. The SADC guidelines underscore the need for transparency in all electoral matters including voter registration. We reiterate our calls for government to urgently put in place mechanisms to ensure that all eligible voters are registered including the so-called ‘aliens’ who continue to be turned down in some areas.

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