Poll watchdog, the Election Resource Centre (ERC), Monday said the electoral management body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s reluctance to release “preliminary voters’ roll” proves beyond doubt that the Commission is not eager to holding free, fair and credible plebiscite, slated for 30 July 2018.
The remarks were made by ERC’s director Tawanda Chimhini while addressing journalists in Harare, where he also announced that his organization in collaboration with its partners are conducting an independent audit of the “Final Voters’ Roll.”
“Following the release of “Final Voters’ Roll” by ZEC, on 15 June 2018, in a secure electronic format as required by the Electoral Act. ERC and other election stakeholders are conducting independent audits.
“The intent of the audit is to provide independent information on the quality of the “Final Voters’ Roll” in terms of its accuracy, completeness and currency,” said Chimhini.
The voters’ roll remains a hot issue ahead of the forthcoming elections with opposition parties and civic groups raising red flags over its accessibility and credibility.
Chimhini questioned ZEC’s reluctance to provide “preliminary voters’ roll,” adding that it should be their top priority to close any loopholes that create post election conversations around its unfairness.
“Though the High Court ruled that, ZEC should release 2018 preliminary voters’ roll in electronic format, they keep giving excuses for providing it, and yet, forgetting that stunts like these create ripe basis of conversations on unfairness of the election.
“Changes made on the preliminary voters’ roll need to traced and checked, continuous delays delays on its provision shows ZEC’s little appetite to hold free, fair and credible election,” added Chimhini.
Meanwhile, ZEC Chairperson Justice, Priscilla Chigumba, publicly declared last week that, “once the president has proclaimed the election date, there’s nothing short of an earthquake which can stop the election.”
HarareLemuel ChekaiPriscilla ChigumbaTawanda ChimhiniZEC