Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has claimed that her organisation was doing its best to clean the voters’ roll ahead of this year’s elections.
BY Everson Mushava
In a presentation made on her behalf by Zec commissioner Joyce Kazembe at an election workshop in Kariba yesterday, Chigumba allayed opposition fears that the voters’ roll would contain names of dead voters and be susceptible to manipulation.
She said the commission has begun a process of manually correcting data entry errors to clean the biometric voter register before the inspection of the provisional voters’ role between May 19 and 29.
“The commission is currently working on a provisional voters’ roll. This roll is expected to be ready for inspection towards the end of this month,” Chigumba said.
“We are correcting data entry errors because it will undoubtedly contain errors that the public may pick out for correction during inspection before it is gazetted as the final voters’ roll. In fact, the inspection of the provisional voters’ roll is in itself a cleaning process as it will assist in removing errors related to addresses, dates of birth, wrong ID numbers, polling station posting and names.”
She added: “What we have been seeing is a situation where two different faces hold the same identities, exact specifications and having registered at the same polling stations.”
“We are correcting that and I can assure you that all those errors will be identified before the final voters’ roll is compiled,” Chigumba said.
Kazembe said the proclamation of the election date by President Emmerson Mnangagwa will only come after Zec has finished work on the new voters’ roll.
Speaking at the same event, Victor Shale, director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable in Africa called on the media to be balanced, impartial and fair in covering all candidates and interpreting manifestos to help the public make informed decisions.
He warned journalists against being swayed by gullible politicians.
“If a journalist is bribed, have political interests or belongs to a political party, it will compromise their credibility,” Shale said.
Zimbabwe Media Commission chief executive officer Tafataona Mahoso also called on the media to report responsibly and avoid escalation of conflicts that can eventually cause genocide.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said police officers had received special training to guarantee the safety of journalists during the election processes.