BY EVANS MATHANDA
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday hit back at opposition Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa, saying its officials would not lose sleep over his “empty threats” meant to discredit the electoral management body.
Zec spokesperson Joyce Kazembe told NewsDay that Zec had endured worst threats than the vote-rigging allegations made by Chamisa.
“As Zec, we have had more serious threats than what the CCC leader Chamisa has been saying over and over,” Kazembe said.
“We have heard several times that the CCC have people now working within Zec, and we cannot dispute that because we don’t have the evidence. But Zec would not be threatened by CCC in any way. We will continue doing our work as per the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”
Chamisa told his supporters at a campaign rally in Gweru on Sunday that his party had devised strategies to counter Zec’s plot to rig the elections in favour of Zanu PF.
Chamisa also claimed that his party had planted informers in the Zec secretariat who will help expose vote-rigging plans.
But Kazembe denied the allegations of rigging, but admitted that the voters’ roll which has been leaked to activists’ group Team Pachedu was a Zec draft document. She, however, claimed that the document had been tampered with to discredit the country’s electoral management system.
The activists’ group has poked holes on the roll and exposed several irregularities, including the illegal transfer of more than 170 000 voters from their wards, among other anomalies.
“The leaked voters’ roll was just a draft and not the final one because people were still registering and we have not yet released the actual voters roll at the moment. The citizens should wait for the final voters’ roll that will be published by Zec,” Kazembe said.
After the leaked voters’ roll, there were reports that Zec then fired members of staff at its information technology department.
CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba said Zec should correct all the glitches that electoral watchdogs like Team Pachedu have highlighted.
“It’s a clear indication that Zec manipulated the voters’ roll, but Zec is not a partisan organisation and it must never be controlled by Zanu PF. We expect Zec to correct the anomalies within the voters roll. As the government-in-waiting, we have new strategies to expose Zec and more people are yet to be fired,” Siziba said.
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said: “Believe it or not, but if one can go and trace the history it is clear that Zec has never been fair in doing its work. Zec should be above all political parties and not be controlled by a certain political party. It is up to Zec to ensure that it is not perpetually accused of pushing a certain political party’s agenda.”