250 000 ‘ghost voters’ on roll

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has reportedly released a register of voters with over 250 000 ghost voters on its final biometric voters’ roll (BVR), NewsDay has established.


The alleged scam, according to the experts who have been analysing the data released by the poll management body, is feared to have involved the highly-discredited Registrar-General’s Office.

An independent team of BVR, electoral administration, human rights and data science experts who sifted through the roll claimed that they unearthed several discrepancies, indicating that over 250 000 ghost voters were on the roll.

The alleged shortcomings also expose a fatal failure by the AFIS software used by Zec for reduplication.

But Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba (pictured) yesterday dismissed the findings as “fictitious”.

“Several techniques were used to sift/dig through all the 5 683 936 records in the voters’ roll. The key goal being to establish the level of credibility that could be ascribed to the voters roll,” the BVR experts said in a report shown to NewsDay yesterday.

“One of the key concerns that have emerged is the existence of both double registrants and the high possibility of ghost voters in the roll. Both scenarios were, ordinarily, not expected given that the Electoral Commission used the most sophisticated BVR system to capture voters data. At the time of writing, the number of red-flagged entries basing on all techniques used stood at 250 000,” read part of the findings.

The high number of irregularities unearthed showed duplication of identity numbers with different names, or slight changes to spellings, similar ID numbers and in some instances, the same person registered at different polling stations in the same constituency.

According to the experts, given that the system used by Zec does not allow for duplication of identity numbers, the Registrar-General’s involvement could have been sought to deal with this issue alone.

“The next 6/7 digits are a unique serial digit generated for each registrant at the district ID registration centre.

These are then followed by a check letter which can be any of the 23 alphabetic letters, except for I O and U, based on the MOD23 calculation mechanism. The last part is simply the district code of one’s ethnic home, and is not at all used in the MOD23 checking mechanism, making it impervious to duplications,” the report read in part.

They added that the easiest to detect were individuals with the same credentials, different address, different polling station, but geographically close constituencies.

The report cited the case of one Chikondowa Varaidzo (07-143353-N07), who registered to vote at Mutare Junior School, Mutasa South in Manicaland, but also appeared as Chikondowa Varaidzo (07-143353-N07) registered to vote at Chirovakamwe A Primary School Dangamvura/Chikanga, Mutare, Manicaland.

“The above scenario is a serious threat to (the) electoral process because the elections shall be polling-station based, and any person registered on two different polling stations will be able to vote twice,” the report read.

In another scenario one Gondo Miria 04-036321-E21, (of) Madzivanyika Village, Masvingo, registered to vote at Chikuku Primary School, but also registered as Gondo Miria with a slightly different ID number at the end (04-036321-E04) to vote at Boora Primary School in Bikita, Masvingo.

“In both cases, what is important to note is that the deduplication process was never foolproof. Further, the fact that what had changed was the suffix, could potentially lead to the same person voting twice on the same or different polling station, given they have access to the two ID’s,” the experts said.

Chigumba, however, dismissed the existence of ghost voters on the final roll, saying there was an issue which affected at least 800 voters who have since been placed on an exclusion list and were no longer on the final voters’ roll.

“The number of people who have been placed on the exclusion list is a couple of hundreds, it’s 800 or 900, I can’t exactly say from the top of my head, without being accused of being dishonest next week. There are some people who have similar names.

“There are some people who have anomalies in their identity documents. We have referred those people to the Registrar General’s office because he (Tobaiwa Mudede) is the one who has the mandate of registering people,” she said.

Independent election watchdogs Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) and Elections Resource Centre, said they were currently looking into the voters’ roll and would release their findings later this week.

“We are still doing our own audit and we will comment once its complete,” Zesn said.

MDC- T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said the anomalies would only end if an independent external auditor is hired to clean the voters roll.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw


  1. Staff reporter

    Kkk munyori anotogwara nepfungwa zvedi vanhu two ivavo ndowavaiti wabata nyaya hombe patwitter zuro .washayaaa

    1. @Staff reporter
      Have you ever heard of a thing called “Example” before? You wanted them to give a full list of 250000 anomalies in just a single page of paper? Wait for the report and see everything for yourself, as is quoted here “the report read in part.”

    2. Staff Reporter uri dofo….shame

    3. Nyatsimba Mutota

      une njere dzegudo.

    4. @ unotorwara iwe, uri wepi


      Wakadzungaira hant?

    6. iwewe urisei hako?

  2. The so-called zec commissioners are not at all in control of the whole situation but they don’t care as long as their bread is buttered.The voters roll released to the general public could actually contain more than a million ghost voters however I suspect ZANU could have been given the genuine roll hence why they are able to send personalised texts to voters.

  3. Chero mawana zvipoko zvacho. Mozodii? Election riikuendera mberi

    1. At least you are admitting kuti ZEC & ZANU don’t have the will to run a Free, Fair & Credible election as per their rhetoric!!!!!

  4. Priscilla Chigumba-led ZEC election rigging shenanigans have been exposed meaning that this time you will not succeeed. Mabata waya dzinopisa.

  5. What`s scaring is that ZEC are not even interested to look and verify the findings and even correct the anormalies. That`s gross ignorance , being defensive before looking into the matter.

  6. @Staff Reporter don’t ask for what you can’t handle, the 250,000 is a conservative number that can be defended to the T. Cumulative figures and anomalies are well over 800,000 but here we reported on just a portion of the findings.

    1. This is where all the rigging is based. The other tricks like intimidation, biased media reporting and constituency gerrymandering are just spices. This is the reason why they were holding on to the voters roll till they could not withstand the pressure of having it released. Even the rolls for the 2013 and 2008 election is still to be released. Why is the ruling party not complaining about these anomalies?

    2. And where are you getting the 800 000 number from, from your back pocket i presume

  7. Nezuro 3000000 ghost voters, nhasi 250000, chokwadi zvino ndechipi, indayi muvhote makanyarara

  8. this is very disturbing and very alarming

  9. Haiwawo this is nonsense and pre election banter chete. Chero mukataura zvema ghost nema vampire you wont stop the election and ED anohwina apa coz opposition yacho looks weak and comes up with nonsensical theories.

    1. Nyatsimba Mutota

      iyi nyaya haineyi nekuti uri wepolitical party ipi. MaZANU mukangonzwa kuti voters roll yakanganiswa mobva mafunga kuti kurikunzi ZANU yatanga mabasa ayo. Muchinyanya kubiririra imi maZANU

      1. kkk indeed kuvhunduka chati kwata hunge une katurike. Indeed varakashi are raising unnecessary defences. Analysts have raised factual inaccuracies and varakashi are all over town being abusive

    2. of course anohwina. All the ghost voters will vote for him

  10. can zanu pf get away with this one more time. chinyika ichi!!! haa zvimwe hazvichaite veduwee…….

  11. chamisa muoffice this tym pfeeee-eeee! all zanu pf tricks of rigging elections akabatwa,hapana chitsotsi, go & rest Garwe.

  12. If you have no proof to the contrary, it is safer to give the reporter the benefit of the doubt. It is well known, ED admits, that in 2008 he armtwisted the electoral process after they lost the elections. ZANU-PF cheats and is banking on rigging to win. Whoever thinks ED can win a free and fair election is crazy and doesn’t live in Zimbabwe. No cash, poverty, unemployment etc. The odds are against him.

  13. I get the fact that it is disturbing to have such anomalies like duplication in the roll. However, I think the probability that persons can do double voting is highly unlikely as one would have an ink mark that takes days to completely wear off.

    1. @KantriBoi Not if you have a method for either adding ballot papers to boxes, or adding those extra votes electronically. Or even, as happened in 1980, you have a chemical concoction that washes out the ink.

  14. zanu has really invested in these social media goons . hamudiwi vakomana . kuna Mwari

  15. Its more disturbing because the duplications unearthed were because of the identical names how about those that appear on the role but are non existent people, those on the role but are in Diaspora. Ink wears off within seconds depending on what chemical you would have used to remove it.

  16. Madofo makawandisa; kana uchida MDC yako vote for the party and its candidate. Newewo kana uchida ZANU yako vote for it and its candidate. Don’t try to arm-twist others;you are just but the same – heh Chamisa this – heh ED this munotisembura. At the end of the day hapana anombokutarisa kuti wamuvhotera : they don’t even know you or care about you.Pfeeee muoffice ko iwe unenge uripai? Pafunge.

  17. You people are being use by these oposition politicians! You are just being made to act on what Chamisa planned in a script without your knowledge. Your prefered candidate does not want an election anymore and murikuitiswa. The man is after something else and all these hoaxes are just ment to prepare you psychologicaly for the dirty work which could mean sacrificing your own safety and life. This is no mere propaganda and if you think i am lying, wait a couple of days and you will see what he will beg his suporters for.

    1. Watch the Space!!!!

  18. Nice try ZANU/ZEC, but you going to have to think of something else this time. LOL


  20. Who actually knows about 250 000 ghost voters the writer was just told two. i read somehwere with a different figures. seems columns are filled by thoughts without stories

  21. Comment…chamisa win chero mukahukura muno mama chete

  22. The only “ghost voter ” on that roll is Nelson Chamisa for he thinks like a real spook! Asi musi wa1 August muchaona kuti manumber iwaya haana basa for your party is going to lose by a margin greater than 600 000 votes.

  23. The spirited defending comments posted over this article is awesome to say the least, RIP.

  24. shame 250 thaza Haisi kana nyaya Go&vote Hillary paakarohwa naTrump she cried rigging & ghost voters So u c hapana election iri fair Even kma Democracy acho with the exception of Germany maybe

  25. Chamisa what are u going to do about all the police, teachers and civil servants who have been posted outside there registered polling stations on election day, this is going to shortchange seriously just calculate the number subtracted

  26. I think this is just a story, sensationally crafted to whip up emotions for the mdc pointless demonstration tomorrow.

  27. Can Newsday identify members of “independent team of BVR, electoral administration, human rights and data science experts” for us the the not so-expert public please. NDAPOTA TINODA KUZIWAWO MA EXPERTS AYA so that they can explain to us how they did it.

  28. Obviously the roll cannot be error free but I believe this figure is highly inflated. The opposition always cries foul over alleged rigging but they have not been able to prove it on several occasions, not even in 2008 which is perceived as the worst rigging exercise ever in spite of the fact that the final figures declared were the same as those collated from various points which were also manned by the opposition. A case of perception vs reality I guess!!!

  29. Mai Chigumba vanoroya chete!!

    1. hahhahahahhhahahahh

  30. To those who care to research and make informed comments, the UK Electoral Commission has VR Accuracy of 94% and this is generally acceptable worldwide considering that the data capturing is manual. In the case of ZEC its around 95% i.e (5200000 – 250000)/5200000 so hapana nyaya apa just people trying to whip emotions ahead of the so called demo

  31. Munhu achirikufunga nezveZANU mupengo plus muroyi haagoni kufunga future yeoncoming generation. Kujaira kudzvanyirirwa. Kupata wakafanana neimbwa chero ikarohwa inongopetwa muswe ichinyengerera mabhonzo. Chamisa Pfeeeeeee

  32. handina zvekutaura zvese zvataurwa zviri wrong uye zviri right chasiyana ipapa maonero ako ndinobvumirana nasecretary wemdc uyo ati ngatihunzeyi muongorori wekunze asina bato raanomirira uye ndinobvumirana neve zesn n election resource centre kuti varikutsvagiridza kuona pasina kumira zvakanaka.reporter ndinotenda nenhau dzakadai rambai makadaro vamwe vose handei tinovhota musi wacho wasvika ahwina tichamuona

  33. Kana mune maghost voters muvoters roll ndiani akuudza kuti vachavhotera ZANU PF kana vari veChinja.

  34. whoever believes that ngwena and chiwenga chased gushungo to hand over power to the opposition needs jesus, not even magaya

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