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statistics from the June 2013 voters’ roll
Research and Advocacy Unit
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and Advocacy Unit, RAU, is in the process of preparing a report
on the state of the Voters’ Roll as it was as of 1st June,
2013. However, with elections pending, the exigencies of the situation
demand that the key statistics, on which the report will be based,
are released without delay. These statistics are of importance to
all those concerned to ensure
that the elections are conducted freely and fairly and with
regard to accepted democratic standards. The statistics appear in
the Tables set out below, and, although appearing with little accompanying
comment, in most instances speak for themselves.
analysis of the Voters’ Roll has been facilitated by the release
of the preliminary results of the 2012 census. However, these results
do not disclose the statistic of prime importance here, the number
of adults in Zimbabwe as indicated by ages of 18 years or more.
The analysis has thus proceeded on the basis of the percentages
of the population in each age band supplied by Zimstat (the body
which conducts the census) and used by Zimstat to calculate data
in a 2012 survey on Health and Demographics in Zimbabwe.2 Zimstat
is of the view that these percentages have not changed significantly
in the few years since that survey, a view supported by the fact
that the census shows that Zimbabwe has a low growth rate of 1.1%.3
The age band percentages appear in Appendix 1 and the full age breakdown
of the Voters’ Roll is given in Appendix 2.
The number of
adults (and thus potentially eligible voters) in the 15 –
19 age band has been determined by calculating two-fifths of the
total. It is believed that the number thus arrived at is sufficiently
accurate for present purposes.
Figure 1 shows
the number of adults in each age band according to the census, compared
with the number of people in those age bands registered as voters.
The final column shows the percentage of the adult population registered
In an ideal situation,
all those who ought to be registered as voters are, and those who
ought not to be, such as those deceased, are not. Although the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission took special steps to facilitate registration
before the production of the June roll analysed here, and although
nearly 300 000 deceased people were reported to have been removed
from the roll in the months immediately preceding its compilation,
Table 1 shows a large disjuncture between the ideal and the actual.
Very few adults aged
less than 30 years are registered. This is most marked in the 18-19
age band, where only 8% are registered. In numerical terms, this
means that a total of 1,920,424 people under the age of 30 ought
to be registered as voters but are not. This is almost 29% of the
total adult population of 6,647,779. Since there are unregistered
people in the other age bands, the total percentage of the entire
adult population who ought to be registered as voters but are not,
is considerably higher than 29%.
in these other age bands is concealed by “over-registration”
in all of the age bands from 30 years and above. If the under-registration
in these bands were to be taken into account, as it ought to be,
the percentages of over-registration shown in Table 1 would increase.
It should also be noted that the over-registration figures assume
a 100% registration rate, which is improbable. The percentages of
over-registration will increase in direct proportion to the extent
that the registration rate is less than 100%.
Even without considering
these factors, however, Table 1 indicates that the number of registered
voters exceeds the population of Zimbabwe, in all age bands of 30
and above, by a considerable margin. This is most notable in the
40–44 age group (162%) and the 80+ age group (219%). In the
former, some of the over-registration may be explained by people
who are registered as voters, but were absent from the country during
the census count, that is, are part of Zimbabwe’s diaspora.
The latter group most probably represents a large number of deceased
persons who names still appear on the Voters’ Roll. In numerical
terms the “over-registration” of people aged 30+ against
the actual population is 1 146 760.
This conclusion is further
supported by the fact that there is an unlikely 116 195 people aged
over 100 still on the roll.
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