via Still no sign of voters’ roll | The Zimbabwean by Nelson Sibanda 13.11.13
Failure by Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede’s office to release the electronic copy of the voters’ roll has more to do with unwillingness than inability, says the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Solomon Zwana.
The RG’s office maintains that machines used for printing the roll broke down before the elections were held and have not been repaired yet. This has reinforced suspicions among the electorate that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the RG’s offices had something to hide, given the controversy surrounding the outcome of the poll.
Zwana said failure by the RG’s office to release the roll ‘flies in the face of transparency’.
“The RG’s office is doing the nation a disservice as the electronic copy of the roll would help build people’s confidence in the country’s electoral processes,” Zwana said.
It was difficult for anyone to buy Mudede’s theory that machines broke down, he added.
In a recent response to inquiries by The Zimbabwean as to why the roll had still not been made available for public scrutiny, ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau passed the buck to Mudede’s office.
In an email response to questions, she shifted the blame to the RG saying “ZEC has not yet started exercising its functions of registering voters and compiling rolls”.
“We have received a few requests for the electronic copy of the roll after the elections and we have in turn forwarded these requests to the RG of voters who compiled the voters roll that was used during the elections,” Makarau said.
She said ZEC would compile new voters’ rolls for future elections. Makarau’s response came after several failed attempts by this newspaper to get her comments through either email or direct interview.
Her personal secretary claimed that she was out of the country, but her deputy, Joyce Kazembe, said Makarau was in the country and in her office as usual.
Questions forwarded to the RG’s office as suggested by Makarau did not bring any joy. Mudede’s personal assistant, one Chemutengo, claimed that the questions got to the RG’s offices when Mudede was out of the country. But on the day the questions were faxed to his office, this reporter had just seen Mudede walking down the corridor.