via 2018 vote rigging underway: MDC-T – NewZimbabwe 26/01/2016
MORGAN Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party has raised a red flag over recent revelations that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has already registered nearly a million new voters in less than 20 constituencies.
In a statement, Tuesday, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede’s continued role in the country’s electoral processes raised a “stink”.
“The MDC was also completely taken aback to learn that 800,000 new voters have registered with ZEC since the beginning of 2015,” said Gutu.
“What is particularly striking is that these new voters are said to have registered in constituencies that recently held Parliamentary by-elections.
“We are surprised why such an apparently huge number of voters could have registered in only one year when ZEC has never, really, undertaken a well-publicised national voter registration exercise.”
He added: “Thus, the MDC strongly suspects that the afore-mentioned voter registration was conducted in a very sinister and shadowy manner that betrays the intention of the Zanu PF regime to rig the 2018 general election”.
The opposition party said it was perturbed that the “discredited” Mudede is still allowed to partake in electoral process despite constantly bungling.
“We are extremely concerned that the thoroughly discredited office of the Registrar-General, fronted by one Tobaiwa Mudede, is still actively involved in the voter registration exercise.
“Mudede’s notorious and shameless record of assisting the Zanu PF regime to rig elections is very well-documented.
“Mudede has been the Registrar-General since 1981 and he is way past the civil service retirement age of 65.
“What boggles the mind is that the Zanu PF regime, particularly, President Robert Mugabe, has not seen it fit to retire him regardless of the fact that he is several years above the official retirement age for civil servants.
“The MDC strongly suspects that Tobaiwa Mudede has been doing a hatchet job for the Zanu PF regime when it comes to the rigging of elections.”
With elections less than three years away, opposition parties are pushing for reforms to “level the playing field”, but Gutu said there was little hope that the ruling Zanu PF party would budge.
“The Zanu PF regime is not committed to carrying out electoral reforms,” he said.
“This is shown by the regime’s reluctance to allow all political parties in this country to openly and freely liaise with ZEC regarding the registration of voters.
“Indeed, in terms of Section 238 (c) and (d) of the Constitution, ZEC is mandated to register voters and compile voters’ rolls and registers.”
Reports have indicated ZEC is considering a biometric voters’ system, a development opposition parties have welcomed and argue will go a long way in plugging loopholes in the electoral processes.