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Zanu PF refuses to change voters' roll
Henry Makiwa, SW Radio Africa
October 05, 2007

The ruling Zanu PF party on Thursday dampened growing hopes of free and fair polls when Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament that there would be no new voters roll for next year's harmonised elections. The move discourages expectations by the opposition that voters would be re-registered to create a new and transparent voters roll before the election in March next year.

The Movement for Democratic Change swiftly opposed the ruling party's position, accusing Robert Mugabe of plotting to use "a corrupted voters' roll full of ghost voters" to win elections. The MDC wants the voters roll re-examined and updated to flush out "ghost voters" - deceased people who are yet to be struck of the voters' list. The opposition party claims Mugabe has used the dead for electoral rigging purposes.

Responding to questions by MDC legislator Nelson Chamisa in parliament, Chinamasa said: "There will be no re-registration of voters to create voters rolls. When you are registered you are registered to a particular group which is the physical unit area and when they do the delimitation, whether of wards or constituencies, it is a mere exercise of moving a whole block or part of the block in order to create a constituency." Chamisa yesterday said the proposed system would prejudice many voters and scupper hopes of a free and fair election.

Chamisa said: "Chinamasa chooses to exhibit unmitigated madness and recklessness at a time when all Zimbabweans are looking for confidence-building measures. We are having mediation talks at the moment and we want to have legitimate free and fair elections under a transparent voters roll." He added: "The electoral roll is like what a syllabus is to a student. Zanu PF has kept this as a preserve of its own in secrecy leading to the use of dead people or ghost voters who are only resurrected at election time to deliver victory to Zanu PF."

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