THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has refused to avail a copy of the 2013 voter’s roll after a request for it by a local civic group.
In a letter dated June 25 and addressed to Concerned Citizens Support Network of Zimbabwe (CCSNZ), Zec chairperson, Rita Makarau said the electoral body has no copy of the 2013 voter’s roll.
“Your letter dated June 8, 2017 regarding the above subject matter is hereby acknowledged.
“We do not have a copy of the voter’s roll used in the 2013 general elections. Accordingly, we regret to advise that we are unable to accede to your request,” read Zec’s response.
CCSNZ had made a request on May 29 for public clarification on biometric voter registration (BVR) ahead of the 2018 elections.
Zec also rejected accusations of delaying the announcement of BVR tender winner.
“While it appeared as if it had taken too long to announce the tender winner (Laxton Group Limited), it was necessary to follow due procedure in evaluating the tenders,” Makarau said.
Zec also failed to clarify on the commencement of the voter registration exercise, saying the commission was awaiting Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s approval before regulations could be gazetted as “per procedure”.
Makarau also insisted that dialogue between Zec and political parties is on-going although these meetings and their outcomes were not even made available to the media and the public at large.
Zec has been accused by the opposition of helping Zanu PF to rig elections.
The civic society group threatened to rope in the international community to manage local elections if Zec proved to be incompetent to run the elections.
“If Zec is, therefore, not competent to meet it’s agreed demands, timelines and meets its commitments to stakeholders, then we believe this opens up a possibility of a class action to demand that Zec be disbanded, as their incompetency will have been proven and ruled on by the courts,” CCSNZ said in a statement.
“As citizens, we must demand that Zec set specific timelines for registration and adhere to them. We demand that Zec must provide timelines not more than 90 days of aligning the electoral laws to the Constitution and demand the required parliamentary hearings to begin.
“Zec must remove strict requirements on residence requirement, begin the implementation of BVR as soon as is possible and ensure sufficient time is given to every Zimbabwean who is eligible to vote to register,” read part of the demands.
For a long time now, National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) has called for the intervention of Sadc in managing Zimbabwe’s elections, claiming Zec has lost credibility to hold the elections.