Zec should come clean on voters roll


THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is in the spotlight again albeit for the wrong reasons.

A voters roll with colour pictures of voters was allegedly given to some ruling Zanu PF candidates in Matabeleland North province while denying the same to the opposition, according to claims by the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

This raises serious questions about the impartiality of Zec and its capability to deliver free and credible elections ahead of next year’s general elections.

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And worse, coming at a time when there are questions on the credibility of the voters roll that was used in the by-elections and will form a critical part of the roll to be used in polls expected next year after data analysts such as Team Pachedu uncovered disturbing discrepancies.

It is also against the Sadc principles on governing elections that call on member States to ensure equal opportunities and a level playing field for all contesting parties.

The latest revelations that only Zanu PF was given a voters roll with images of voters and other biometric information further feeds into claims by critics that the electoral body should be disbanded as it is acting like an extension of the ruling Zanu PF party.

Before the by-elections, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa opined that Zec should be disbanded and replaced with an independent electoral body.

Nelson Chamisa

We quote: “Zec should pass the transparency test, it should pass the accountability test, it should pass the constitutionality test and professionalism test as well. Those tests are critical because they make people gain confidence and trust in the electoral process.

“The toolbox is very full. Who would play a match where the referee is biased…we cannot abandon the match because of the referee, otherwise, we will ask the referee to leave the stadium and be replaced with a proper referee.”

To build trust, the voters roll must be subjected to an independent audit. Not only will this build trust, but it will also help in fighting the emerging scourge of voter apathy, particularly among the youth.

Perhaps it is high time the youthful opposition leader and other like-minded opposition leaders and progressive Zimbabwean citizens opened the toolbox and bring out the right tools to ensure Zec is reformed.