HomeLocal NewsMtetwa calls for new voters’ roll

Mtetwa calls for new voters’ roll

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Top Zimbabwean human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, has urged authorities to stop patching up the old and widely discredited voters’ roll and instead compile a fresh document to enable the holding of acceptable elections.

In her foreword to a document, titled Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe: A Report on the Voters’ Roll in Zimbabwe, Mtetwa said: “We have always known that we would not achieve the democratic future we want until there could be truly free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

“The first and foremost essential ingredient for that is a properly drawn-up voters’ roll – and this should be a document in the public domain, easily accessible not only to political parties, but to members of the general public.”

She went on: “All manner of obstacles have been placed in the way. Having experienced the problem first-hand when I dealt with many election petitions after the 2000 parliamentary elections, I have personal knowledge of these difficulties.”

Mtetwa pointed out that in devising the roadmap to free and fair elections, negotiators to the GPA must insist on a clean voters’ roll.

“Both Sadc neighbours and partners and Zimbabwe’s Parliament have all agreed that a reliable and accurate new voters’ roll must be drawn up. Yet in Zimbabwe, even this is no simple matter,” she said.

Mtetwa said there was need for the country to draw up, from scratch, a “really new voters’ roll”. She said this has to be done by “a truly independent and impartial organisation” and this would “provide a basis for a democratic future”.

But, Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have repeatedly said there was nothing wrong with the current voters’ roll.
Mtetwa said Zimbabweans in the Diaspora should be allowed to vote in the next elections.

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