via Let’s learn to love Mudede, ZEC boss – NewZimbabwe 9 April 2015 by Nkosana Dlamini
ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) chair Rita Makarau has said it is nearly impossible to completely discard controversial Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede’s hand in the registration of voters.
This is despite the country’s new constitution reposing the responsibilities to do with all electoral processes firmly in the hands of ZEC.
But in an interview with a local radio station on Thursday, Makarau said Zimbabweans must learn to live with the reality of Mudede playing a part in the country’s electoral processes.
Makarau said Mudede and his office were an indispensable factor in the electoral systems as they were the sole authority charged with the capture, storage, issuing out and authentication of potential voters’ identities.
“We (ZEC) don’t generate any document that grants citizenship; we don’t have that mandate. So we will have to rely on the authority that is mandated to do that,” she said.
Mudede, a known Zanu PF sympathiser, has been accused of both tinkering with the voter’s roll in the ruling party’s favour and holding it away from President Robert Mugabe’s opponents.
The country’s opposition and civic groups claim Mudede has been played a key role in manipulating election outcomes for the benefit of Mugabe and Zanu PF.
The new constitution says ZEC is now fully in charge of both registration and the voter’s roll.
The electoral body since started conducting a pilot registration process of voters in recent by-elections in keeping with its mandate as the sole administrator of the country’s plebiscites.
It has emerged however that Mudede was still reluctant to hand over the equipment and data base for ZEC to fully discharge its functions.
In the ensuing debacle, Makarau’s claims her office is chained to Mudede’s on such matters has not helped the situation.
“We cannot divorce from the civil registry no matter how far away we want go away,” she said, adding that the public needed to be educated on Mudede’s roles.
“It will be a question of educating the public and say sometimes we run away from shadows.
“In maintaining a voter’s roll, we will want to have a voter’s roll made up of Zimbabweans; who is a Zimbabwean, who holds Zimbabwean citizenship. There is no other way for us of knowing other than referring to Mudede’s office.
“…If those who want us to divorce ourselves from office yavaMudede were to come up with another scientific way of telling us how to select Zimbabweans who are above the age of 18, we will welcome that.”
Makarau admitted the country’s electoral processes were irretrievably soiled by Mudede’s continued presence saying this needed to be addressed.
She however, urged Mudede’s restive critics to credit him for continuously producing general identity documents that have not attracted any controversy around their genuineness.
She said all Zimbabweans rely on IDs issued by the controversial registrar in writing examinations, doing other civic duties and making commercial transactions.
“…I have not heard many complaints about the integrity of that document in those other transactions now all of a sudden when it comes elections we have issues, the issue is not with the issue is now our confidence in the machinery that runs elections and l think that is what we have to address that we have to address with Mudede’s office.”