Zec boss sees red over voters’ roll

OPPOSITION political parties and independent electoral watchdogs have accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of attempting to wriggle out of its constitutional obligations by shifting goalposts at the 11th hour as part of a wider plot to rig the July 30 elections.

BY STAFF REPORTERS

This came after Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba yesterday claimed that they deliberately withdrew voters’ photographs on the roll released to stakeholders last week “to protect them”.

Addressing journalists in Harare, Chigumba said: “Following threats by some unscrupulous individuals to track down our registered voters door-to-door, the commission would like to advise that on legal advice, decided not to issue the roll with photographs in an effort to protect voters.”

Chigumba said they had initially wanted to release the roll with voters’ pictures, although they were not obliged at law to do so.

“We are given the exclusive administrative mandate to decide any other information that can be included on the voters’ roll other than first and last names, date of birth, address of the voter ordinarily resides and registration number,” she said.

“The right to access information which as enshrined in the Constitution does not trample the right to privacy which is equally in the Constitution.”

But MDC Alliance principal, Tendai Biti dismissed Chigumba’s claims, accusing her of misinterpreting the provisions of the Electoral Act.

“This is the worst Zec in the history of Zimbabwe. They should do what they do in terms of the law and not in terms of social media. The law says the voters’ roll should be searchable and analysable, it’s elemental, is it not that it can’t be fully searchable and analysable without pictures. They are bloody liars and one day they will burn in hell, this Zec should just disband,” Biti said.

Elections watchdog, Elections Resource Centre (ERC) said Zec was trying to wriggle out of its legal obligations, saying its claim of security risk was disingenuous.

“The law provides for Zec to release voters’ rolls to stakeholders. Given that Zec has been working on a biometric voters’ roll, the expectation was that what would be shared would be a biometric voters’ roll. Biometric voters’ rolls are known to contain biometric features; a photograph of the voter. When Zec announced the release of the voters’ roll, they called it a final voters’ roll. Stating that it is final raised an expectation that what was shared would be what would be used for the election. In the absence of a clear explanation from Zec on why an Excel roll was shared, it was natural that stakeholders would then question the state of the document shared,” ERC said.


“It is curious that Zec now attempts to explain the absence of pictures on the roll which should have been final and thus complete by suggesting security of voters.
Such a security risk should have been anticipated and, hence, explained right from the onset rather than waiting to respond once concerns were raised.”

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said: “She (Chigumba) is looking for excuses to violate the law, she is a qualified judge and she should respect the intelligence of the people of Zimbabwe. The law allows us to get such information and we should get it.”

In her briefing, Chigumba said all potential voters’ names had been decrypted and added on the final voters’ roll.

“As of now, there are no names which have not been decrypted, when I released the final voters’ roll on June 14, I did expressly said that 16 000 people had been affected who had registered during the inspection period, that their names were going through the final round of AFIS and deduplication and the names were added on the 18th and there are no names who as I speak (have been) affected by lack of decryption,” she said.

But, her claims contrasted her deputy Emmanuel Magade who on June 21 claimed that the decryption process was still ongoing and the names were yet to be added on the voters’ roll.

“Anyone who registered to vote before June 2 on the closure of the voters’ roll will vote in this election in line with the laws of the country,” Magade said then.
“Their names are still to be added to the voters’ roll because this is work in progress, those names will be added to the voters’ roll that will be used during the polls.”

The confusion came a week after Zec said 100 000 people had been excluded from the voters’ roll, owing to a number of reasons.

Those who were on the exclusion list included voters who had registered during the inspection of the provisional voters’ roll to June 2 whose data was still being decrypted.

“The voters’ roll contains 5 681 604 registered voters, this figure excludes those who were registered after the cut-off date of June 1 and those on the exclusion list. The exclusion list include the deceased, those with identification document queries … those whose data is yet to be decrypted who registered during the inspection period,” Zec claimed in a statement last week.

Chigumba added that a total of 1 652 candidates were fighting for the 210 National Assembly seats and of these 247 were independents, while the rest were from 55 political parties.

“As you maybe or may not be aware, we have 1 652 National Assembly candidates, 23 presidential candidates. We have 55 political parties whose candidates were successfully nominated out of our total contingent of 133 political parties, only 55 had candidates who were successfully nominated, we have 247 independent candidates for the National Assembly,” she said.

42 Comments

  1. what is all this fuss about our photos what matters is that we are registered and we verified our names and zec cannot just unilaterally dish out my photo to anyone who want it without my authority ,my name yes

    1. Personally I do not want anyone especially political activist to have access to my photo id and date of birth. I believe such information is confidential. Respect my right to privacy ZEC. Most importantly do these parties have structures and capacity to verify every face in Zimbabwe. I dont even know my neighbor.

  2. Thobela Nyandezulu

    The reason for not attaching photos to names of voters could partial be applauded as valid.There has been an outcry from opposition political parties that Zanu pf activists demanded voter registration slips as a condition for accessing drought relief particularly in rural areas.Suppose the same activities saw photos of those perceived to belong to opposition political formations,what would happen to them? Definitely,they would be legitimate targets for all forms of repression and intimidation aimed at preventing them from casting their votes for their preferred candidates.

    1. Haiwawo nonsense, this is just rubbish! If they already perceive them to belong to opposition parties then they already know their faces! What tosh is this!
      I never thought I would hate any woman more than Charity Charamba… This Chigumba lady is repulsive, detestable and she stinks like a skunk!

      1. yah hauna mukanwa

    2. Your photograph does not reveal who you vote for.

    3. Utter rubbish – can you tell which party I belong to or I support by looking at my photo? Did you state your political allegiance during the process of registration? Wake up from your stupor and stop defending the indefensible

  3. I do not dispute that a photograph may be useful for identification. But what is really biometric. I need help from those who have the technical expertise. Superficial definition of biometric dwells on biological traits like DNA fingerprinting retina iris etc. These features are immutable. So strictly speaking what is biometric. I am sure it will not include heads with weaves monkey hats shaved unshaved faces. So at a booth the polling officer will have a right to instruct one to remove the wear. May be.

    1. Wezhira Wezhara

      Well said @Senior. What is the use of a photograph anyway because we know there are identical twins (several of them) who are registered voters and several other identical but unrelated people so a person’s only identication mark can be his or her fingerprint and ID number. Why cry over pictures as if you want to chose wives or husbands? Zec is right do not give them our photos. We saw them when we inspected the roll so why should a political party have them. Also when they raise any querries, they should be made public in the Press because what I know is there are several John Nkomos, Paul Sibandas, Peter Moyos etc in Zimbabwe so these guys could raise voter duplication issues where it does not exist. I have a brother’s son who shares the same name with me and he is a registered voter also.

  4. LETS GO TO KWEKWE JULY 30 2018.

  5. The only idiots who track down voters door to door are zanupf war vets & co. Therefore this is the silliest excuse ever coming from Chigumba. I knew after seeing her in that selfie photo with Chris Mutsvangwa in Russia that we were in for some serious rigging again

  6. you are playing with our votes you young lady.

  7. Zimbabweans we are really playing foolish, how can we trust ZEC to deliver free and fair elections when their past says otherwise, what has changed here. We all know they are paid and employed by zanu hence nothing reasonable, impartial and dignified will ever come from ZEC, it is rotten to the core, that lady you call chair what for ZEC, be reminded of Sekesai Makwawarara, do you still remember her, same fanana. Solution is to boycott the elections until a neutral referee is found, ZEC nada nyonyo.

  8. Matebele Warrior- Chamisa is our leader

    i feel sorry for those who have been brainwashed like eliasha , what a shame you are now failing to see , sense . touch and smell wrong from right

  9. The beautiful ones are not yet born

    Very sad that educated people like Biti mislead people. The constitution places no obligation on ZEC to provide photographs of people on the voters. Read the Act. ZEC has dispensed its legal duty here.

    If there was really a legal basis for getting photos, i’m sure by now these guys would have sued ZEC.

    1. Why did she said they remove pictures deliberately and they consult their legal panel if this was not a serious issue it seems you just support what is wrong my man you are in the same blanket with ZEC and ZANU owe

  10. Most of their tricks are being exposed that is why chigumba now shifting posts like as she is not a . As we spoke my pleasant citizens wakawagara bhoo.

  11. Wezhira Wezhara

    My Comments disappear everyday Newsday. You only publish what you think is favourable to opposition parties. My foot

  12. Its always easier to do the simple and effective.
    ZECs processes must be the most complicated system in the world.
    Chigumba and her crew don’t seem to undetstand it either.

  13. At this rate you will soon be asking that ZEC provides you with our finger prints as well. How does the lack of photographs make the information provided not analyzable? Unless you also want to see how many voters have brown eyes blue eyes, short hair etc, because I clearly don’t understand what information you want to analyses from the photos.

    1. very simple. rega isu takagumira grade 2D tipindure. we are having a situation whereby we have 20 people residing at the same homestead having the same surname. so putting faces will make it difficult to have such ghosts. remember g40 was with you when you planned this but now its independent, and unongozivawo ma independent anotamba irikurira sana khupe & co.

  14. i honestly feel like ZEC is correct on removing pictures because being a biometric system, there is really no need to risking someones privacy by show of pictures, we all know how corrupt ZEC is, they can do anything those guys.

    1. ufambe wakapfeka mask kana uchida privacy.

      1. u want to comment much but forgetting to cover yr face tirikukuonai zvedu

  15. Ndopanoda kubirwa napo ipapo varume. tsikai madziro kusvikira zvanaka kwete zvatsuro nagudo zviri kuitwa nezanu izvo

  16. Biometric voters roll cannot be biometric without the registered voters’ photos. The excuse by Chigumba is clearly unlawful. Please Chigumba, do not play with the people’s wishes!!

  17. Comment..

  18. Comment…As i see it 3.5million registerd voters .2million ghost voters .That the reasen behind pictures .Bandezelani khonapho lithole izthombe .U can fake a million addresses pictures u cant

    1. Can u fake a million fingerprints also?

  19. they want to use ghost voters we need pictures so that we avoid duplication of same people especially in zanu strongholds.when registering on BVR photos where taken so common sense means everyone on the roll has a pic so ZEC must provide that.

  20. Whether the photos are important or not is irrelevant, it is our constitutional right to demand them if we so wish therefore Chigumba must provide them whether she likes it or not, Zim is not her personal property

    1. Pihwa photo yako. Yangu handidi nayo

  21. ELECTORAL ACT [Chapter 2:13] [as amended at 25th October 2016] section 4A(1) states that, The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued and, subject to the Constitution and this Act, of performing all acts that bodies corporate may by law perform.If there is really a legal basis for getting photos, i’m sure by now these guys would have sued ZEC as far as this issue is concerned

  22. During this year’s Russian elections, some independent observers noted voters who voted twice at different polling stations. When they challenged an election official with two photos of the same man, in the same clothes, voting at two different stations, the official smiled and said laconically, “Maybe they are twins..” A voters roll with pictures would expose (amongst other possible tricks) “identical twins.”

  23. If the photograph is used to confirm my identity during elections it then becomes a critical feature of the voters role. Other wise the production of my ID without the photo taken during registration would have been sufficient. Suppose on the day of voting you turn up to only find out that what you verified during the verification exercise has been altered. ZEC should release the full voters role.

  24. I find these hunters evil, far wild to even peoples’ privacy for the benefit of their dirty goals. You make the worst community ever-go to Nigeria and to make your own voters rows of Boko Haram faces..

  25. Zec and zanu pf parties has been the main stumbling blocks of zimbabwe’s demise,yet for 38 years of twin destruction,murdering and abductions,they are failing to recognize the changing tides of the present world. China is not zimbabwe’s investment destination because zanu pf’s look to the East policies have failed us dismally.We will never ever progress and get the development every visionary zimbabwe is wishing to have as long as zanu pf and zec parties still exists in zimbabwe.

  26. Comment…umbavha uwo

  27. Electoral (Voter Registration) Regulations, 2017 Section 9 reads;

    The Chief Elections Officer shall compile a voters’ roll for
    each polling area showing, in relation to each voter-
    (a) the voter’s first and last names, date of birth, sex and
    national registration number; and
    (b) the place where the voter ordinarily resides; and
    (c) the voter’s photograph.

    This is what the law says.

  28. mdc are just cry babies… hweeee hweeee hweee hweeee…. big toothless bukk dogs…. u are all too immature, power hungry

  29. zimbabwe, zanu pf is mature in political abductions,destruction and family desplacement,is this development every one dare to live in,purely baboons.

  30. zimbabwe, zanu pf is mature in political abductions,destruction and family desplacement,is this development every one dare to live in,purely baboons.zanu pf will never do anything progressive in zimbabwe but are masters in selfishness and most best in murdering people who don’t follow their shallow political ideologies.

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