Zimbabwe voters’ roll is unavailable – Lance Guma

via Zimbabwe voters’ roll is unavailable — Nehanda Radio by Lance Guma OCTOBER 8, 2013 

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is refusing to make available a copy of the country’s voters’ roll citing a variety of excuses the latest of which is that “there is a technical fault in the equipment used to produce the roll.

Interest in inspecting the voter’s roll is particularly high following accusations that President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party registered their supporters en masse while deliberately frustrating opposition supporters. It was this ‘rigged’ voters’ roll which was used to decide elections this year.

Several individuals and organisations who have sought access to the contentious roll as prescribed by law were initially told that the ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau was on leave. When she came back the same requests were re-submitted but this time the excuse by ZEC had changed.

A response by Makarua seen by Nehanda Radio says:

“We regret to advise that currently the Registra General of Voters is unable to provide electronic copies of the voters roll as a result of a technical fault in the equipment used for production of the same.

“We however, note your comments regarding the right of all Zimbabweans to vote and confirm that this is an issue addressed fully in the current electoral law. We shall work out modalities of giving effect to the right before the next general elections,” Makarau said in her response.

In the run up to elections this year the MDC-T requested an electronic version of the voters roll but was delivered only a printed copy the night before the election.

“It’s pretty obvious that the printed copy originated from the electronic version. The electronic version HAD to be functional to print the hard copy.  So why didn’t they provide the electronic version if they had nothing to hide?” asked a legal expert who spoke to Nehanda Radio.

“The letter from ZEC above says they cannot supply electronic copies of the voters roll because of a technical fault in the equipment. Do they honestly believe that we are so stupid as to believe such hogwash?

“Computers have hard drives and those hard drives can be easily accessed and the relevant files can be recovered. Anyone with half a brain and few years’ experience using a computer would know that ZEC are telling lies.

“But given events leading up to the election, it is no wonder ZEC, under ZANU-PF’s Mudede’s command was so reluctant to provide the electronic version which had direct input from NIKUV (the Israeli company hired by Zanu PF to update the voter’s roll).

“It is no wonder they will not supply electronic versions 2 months after the elections. They have something they need to hide from the people of Zimbabwe.

“What really bothers me is that it appears to me that certain organisations and individuals, who could be in a position to force ZEC compliance and expose the truth, don’t seem to be doing anything about it.

“Is this extremely serious matter being “parked” just like all the other critically important terms of the GPA and roadmaps to the last election? As far as I know, ZEC is already in contempt of court. Here is the relevant legislation- see (3) below:

Inspection of voter’s rolls and provision of copies

(1)  Every voters roll shall be a public document and open to inspection by the public, free of charge, during ordinary office hours at the office of the Commission or the constituency registrar where it is kept.

(2)  A person inspecting the voters roll for a constituency may, without removing the voters roll, make any written notes of anything contained therein during office hours.

(3)  The Commission shall within a reasonable period of time provide any person who requests it, and who pays the prescribed fee, with a copy of any voters roll, either in printed or in electronic form as the person may request.

(4)           Within a reasonable period of time after the calling of an election, the Commission shall provide, on payment of the prescribed fee, to every political party that intends to contest the election, and to any observer who requests it, one copy of every voters roll to be used in the election, either in printed or in electronic form as the party or observer may request.

(5)           Fees prescribed for the purposes of subsection (3) or (4) shall not exceed the reasonable cost of providing the voters roll concerned.

(6)  Within a reasonable period of the time after nomination day in an election, the Commission shall provide –

(a)           free of charge, to every nominated candidate, one copy in electronic form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated; and

(b)           at the request of any nominated candidate, and on payment of the prescribed fee, one copy in printed form of the constituency voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated.

(7)           Where a voters roll is provided in electronic form in terms of subsection (3), (4) or (6), its format shall be such as allows its contents to be searched and analysed:

Provided that—

(i)            the roll may be formatted so as to prevent its being altered or otherwise tampered with;

(ii)           the Commission may impose reasonable conditions on the provision of the roll to prevent it from being used for commercial or other purposes unconnected with an election.

(8)           For the purposes of any election the Chief Elections Officer shall, through the appropriate constituency elections officer, supply sufficient copies of the ward voters roll to every polling station.

(9)           Any person who, having been provided with a voters roll in terms of this section—

(a)           alters the voters roll, that is to say, excises any name from, adds any name to or otherwise alters the voters roll with intent to misrepresent to any person that the altered voters roll is the authentic voters roll for any election;  or

(b)           makes use of the voters roll for commercial or other purposes unconnected with an election;

shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

*Section as amended by s. 6 of Act 3/2012.

To contact this journalist email lance@nehandaradio.com


  • comment-avatar

    What’s Lance complaining about? After all, Makarua has promised to hopefully deliver the current voters roll before the next general election – 5 years from now! Well at least we know that just maybe, there’s a possibility that people will be able to hope for the probability that they might potentially be able to look back and finally understand the July 2013 election within maybe 5 years afterwards. After all, no one has been able to understand how Mugabe won any of the other previous elections, so this would be a start. What more can we expect? After all, this is Zimbabwe, the most backward country on the planet!?!

  • comment-avatar
    Tony Pajamas 11 years ago

    And they don’t have anything to hide???

  • comment-avatar
    Jogo Bonita 11 years ago

    Nanhasi electronic voters roll hakuna?inga zvakaoma.

  • comment-avatar
    Themba Mlangeni 11 years ago

    If the opposition and NGOs had started creating their own electronic voters role using the hard copy provided by ZEC they would be almost done by now. It definitely costs but would allow them to perform the kind of analysis they are so itching to do.

  • comment-avatar
    Gukurahundi upbringing 11 years ago

    That is their interpretation of the rule of law!!

  • comment-avatar
    Charles Chamunorwa 11 years ago

    Jealoous Mawarire should force Rita to produce the voters roll. He forced Mugabe to call for the July election! Come on Jealous your constitutional right is once again being tempered with. We know you. You can do it.

  • comment-avatar
    taona 11 years ago

    And a Prof. Raftopolous says there is no evidence that zanupf did rig the election!! What a farce, an election is held without a voters roll and 3 mths down the line, there is still no votes roll which was used for the election and a profesor says there is no evidence it was rigged. No wonder people are increasingly having doubts about these so-called profesors!!

  • comment-avatar
    Zeezee 11 years ago

    They are probably very busy deleting all the dead people and diaspora off the voters roll before they make it public. In other words they are most likely de-rigging the voters roll!

    • comment-avatar

      The rigging is still on going so forget about having access to it. We are already planning for the next election the you can have the hard copy once again.

  • comment-avatar
    Michael 11 years ago

    The fools here are not ZANU-PF nor ZEC nor any professors. The only fools in the last election were Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC-T because they chose to contest an election without having an electronic copy of the voter roll. They chose to contest an election without the GPA and SADC electoral reforms that should have been in place before hand. FOOL’s = MDC-T

    I cannot believe Tsvangirai is clinging on as head of the party when he said he would step down if defeated in the last election, WAKE up smell the coffee, you lost the election now you must go. Try do it with a bit of dignity before you are forced by popular dissent.

    Unfortunately Tsvangirai has become as despotic as his close friend Bob Mugabage. To disguise his failing and inadequacies as a progressive leader Tsvangirai has now resorted to pointing the finger at his rebellious but senior party colleagues. Suspending and reprimanding loyal to the cores party members.
    Tsvangirai you must discipline yourself first before accusing others.