Mugove Tafirenyika 6 June 2017
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the
Registrar-General’s office must publicly destroy the old voters’ roll as
there is danger of the country being railroaded into elections using it,
despite the establishment of a biometric one, the MDC has warned.
Contributing to a debate last Friday on the possibility of the mooted
biometric voter registration (BVR) effectively dealing with the electoral
challenges that the country has been grappling with since the turn of the
millennium, MDC national elections directorate secretary Murisi Zwizwai
said “as long as the two (voters’ rolls) exist side by side” there is risk
the old one being used.
“…it leaves room for a Jealousy Mawarire moment where someone will
approach the Constitutional Court, saying he or she has a right to vote
because he is registered on the old voters’ roll and that will be
manipulated to justify dumping the BVR because we know Zanu PF has always
been against the new system,” Zwizwai said.
He called for an amendment to the electoral laws by “inserting a
validation clause that compels all those that are registered under the old
system to approach Zec to have their biometric features captured in order
to retain their voting rights”.
“We have since approached Zec over this issue but it seems there is not
any movement as they continuously tell us they are considering it,” he
In 2013, Mawarire – a Zimbabwean citizen – dragged President Robert Mugabe
to court and forced an election to be held as prescribed by the
Sadc-brokered power-sharing pact in what many viewed as a Zanu PF project
that was meant to avoid being subjected to a free, fair and credible
Meanwhile, a fresh political storm has since erupted over the awarding of
the BVR kits tender to a Chinese company – Laxton Group – by Zec, with the
MDC alleging that the “controversial” award is a ploy to “manipulate” the
results of the eagerly awaited 2018 elections.
The multi-party debate Murisi was speaking at was organised by the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network and was also attended by Tendai Biti’s
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Welshman Ncube’s MDC.