ZEC clips Mudede’s wings


The Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede should operate under the supervision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in the conduct of election, Zec chairperson Justice Simpson Mtambanengwe said yesterday.

Zec wants Mudede’s wings clipped, reducing him to a mere departmental head operating under the direct supervision of the commission.

Responding to a question at the ongoing Zec media consultative workshop in Kadoma, Justice Mtambenengwe said Mudede’s unfettered control of the country’s electoral system ceased in 2004.

Mudede, a State bureaucrat accused of failing to clean up the country’s shambolic voters’ roll, has previously denied presiding over a chaotic electoral system whose results have been contested over the last few years.

“He shall do that (registration of voters) under the supervision and control of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,” said Justice Mtambanengwe.

The retired judge who described Mudede as “sensitive” when it comes to issues to do with his role in the conduct of elections, said he had spoken to the RG about the registration of voters.

He said the issue was an area of great concern which had been raised at various levels.

“It is an area under constant scrutiny by Zec,” he said.
He said he was hoping to discuss the issue of voter registration with Mudede at a meeting scheduled for January 27.

“We have not fully spelt out how to carry out this exercise, but we must produce a voters’ roll that’s credible to all political parties and voters,” Justice Mtambanengwe said.

Mudede’s role in the conduct of elections has been subject to great debate.

But the RG was last year quoted as claiming there was no voters’ roll in the world that is as perfect as Zimbabwe’s.

“Our system is programmed in such a way that it rejects any person below 18 years of age on data entry. Therefore, minor children cannot appear on the voters’ roll,” Mudede was quoted as saying.

Responding to a June 2011 report by South African Institute for Race Relations and concerns raised by other stakeholders that there were impossible numbers of centenarians in the electoral register, Mudede said the law does not stipulate an upper age limit.

An earlier critical examination done by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network showed a grave presence of ghost voters in the current voters’ roll and a high level of voter education ignorance among Zimbabweans.