BY CATHERINE MUCHIRI/KUDAKWASHE TAGWIREYI
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) closed the voters roll yesterday to pave way for the delimitation exercise.
Delimitation of constituency boundaries is done every 10 years on a date set by Zec. It is done soon after a population census.
Zec spokesperson commissioner Jasper Mangwana yesterday said: “The ones who have registered to vote until yesterday are the ones who are going to constitute the voters roll to be used for the delimitation exercise. However, voter registration will still continue at the 73 Zec offices throughout the country, and the voters roll will be open for other electoral activities.”
Mangwana said the delimitation exercise would begin on June 1.
“We have already started delimitation activities such as stakeholder engagement and sharing the legal frameworks and processes to be done during this exercise. It shall end in December 2022. We are going to use a lot of information from the population census including developments like new settlements, population growth and other factors. Delimitation is not a one-sided process, we shall use data from other sources as well,” he said.
The delimitation exercise will divide constituencies, wards and other electoral boundaries.
Meanwhile, Zec has refuted allegations of anomalies in the Kariba voters roll and that it denied people the chance to register to vote.
In a statement on Sunday, Zec chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana said Zec had no right to deny prospective registrants to register as voters as long as they produce acceptable proof of residence.
This was after concerns were raised that over 87 people were registered at a non-residential stand in Kariba.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to put the record straight on allegations of anomalies on the Kariba Municipality ward 8 voters role. Concerns have been raised that over 87 people registered as voters on stand number 1110 Chiwara a non-residential stand.
“The public should know that as long as prospective registrants produce acceptable proof of residence, the commission has no right to deny them the chance to register as voters,” Silaigwana said.
“The commission has no way of ascertaining the veracity of one’s claims at registration, especially as they relate to a residence and it is incumbent upon the applicant to proffer correct information as failure to do so constitutes an offence in terms of section 37(2) of the Electoral Act.
“The Electoral Act permits voters registered in the same ward or constituency to object to the retention of any name on the voters roll setting out the reasons for their objection which could be that the person does not reside in their constituency,” he added, urging Kariba residents with objections to approach Zec.
Several civic society groups and opposition political parties have been complaining that the voters roll has a lot of anomalies, which might disenfranchise voters.
Following the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn)’s independent audit of the 2018 biometric voters registration voters role Silaigwana said Zesn had no authority to do the audit.
“There is no law which permits independent auditing of the voters role. I don’t know which law they used,” he said.
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