via Watchdog condemns Nkulumane vote – NewZimbabwe 21/12/2015
THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has condemned the Nkulumane National Assembly by-election held at the weekend, citing the use of two separate voters’ rolls by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The seat which was left vacant following the death in October of MDC-T legislator Thamsanqa Mahlangu was won by the Zanu PF candidate Killian Sibanda.
Zanu PF, Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ) and Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) contested the seat while the MDC formations maintained their “no reforms no elections” boycott.
ZESN which deployed 14 observers for the vote said the result of the by-election was compromised by the use of two voters’ rolls.
“This becomes the second time that the (electoral) Commission has utilized two separate voters rolls (main and supplementary rolls) under the polling station-based voting system prompting some stakeholders to raise questions over ZEC’s preparedness to fully implement the system for the 2018 harmonised elections,” said the election watch dog.
“The main voters’ roll for Nkulumane had a total of 13,331 registered voters of which 5,121 were male (38%) and 8,234 (62%) female. However, the supplementary voters’ roll had 20,787 voters of which 11,071 (53%) were males and 9,715 (47%) females.”
ZESN has been raising similar concerns since the July 2013 national election when ZEC allowed people who were not on the voters’ roll to use registration slips to vote.
“Government should speed up alignment of electoral laws with the Constitution to ensure the creation of a conducive electoral environment that guarantees the respect and enjoyment of universal suffrage and fundamental freedom,” ZESN recommended.
The election watch dog said continued use of two voters’ rolls could compromise the credibility of elections.
“This reveals the need for ZEC to come up with a more comprehensive voter registration methodology which ensures that all eligible voters are captured by the new polling station based voter registration system.”