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Voters roll needs 3 years to clean up


The country will need between 18 and 36 months and thousands of dollars to clean up the voters roll to be used in the next elections possibly slated for next year.
The voters roll has been a contentious issue between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations with the latter arguing it was in shambles because dead people appeared on it.
Bessie Nhandara, a commissioner with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), last week told Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that there was need for voter education and preparations for a possible plebiscite in May 2011 should President Robert Mugabe go ahead with his plans.
Zec is one of several commissions the inclusive government established to reshape and democratise the country’s institutions and improve national politics that has been characterised by violence and gross human rights abuse.
Nhandara said there was need for a new voter registration exercise and that at least 12 months were needed to clean up the shambolic document.
Copac outreach teams are currently on a nationwide consultation exercise to gather views from citizens to be incorporated in the new constitution ahead of elections.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network director, Rindai Chipfunde-Vava, said the country should not hold elections under the current constitution and voters roll because this could lead to a disputed outcome.
“If we are to do it properly like in other countries, we will require at least one and half years,” she said. “There is no way we can have a proper exercise if we are in a hurry to hold elections.”
Tsvangirai has called on Zec to clean up the voters roll to avoid contestations as was the case in the 2008 presidential election run-off.
Deputy minister of Justice, Obert Gutu, said a budget would definitely have to be allocated for the operations of Zec though he could not give an indication as to how much was required. “What is important is that Zec has seen that the voters roll needs to be cleansed and I’m sure they will be given all the necessary support to do that,” Gutu said.

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