By Lance Guma
Zimbabwe’s Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede, in charge of the shambolic voters roll that has helped Mugabe win countless controversial elections, has this week removed all doubt about his allegiance to the 88 year old dictator.
Mudede was on Tuesday accredited to the Second All Stakeholders Constitutional Conference as a Zanu PF delegate. The three day conference (Sunday to Tuesday) will accommodate 1 100 delegates among them 246 from political parties, 284 MPs and 571 civil society group representatives.
Douglas Mwonzora a spokesman for the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said “We are very happy as MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) that Tobaiwa Mudede is coming as a Zanu PF delegate. It buttresses what we have always been saying that he is not impartial.”
The 68 year-old Mudede has been in charge of all elections held since 1985. In March this year he told the Zanu PF controlled ZBC radio that the country’s voters’ roll is ‘perfect’ and ruled out any possibilities of rigging through double registration, saying this would be detected by a ‘computer system’.
Before presidential elections in 2002 Mudede told a meeting at the International School in Harare that, “he could imagine no circumstances in which he would declare anyone other than Mugabe the winner.” Only after four court orders were pressure groups able to see a copy of the shambolic voters roll he used.
Last year in June a report by the South African Institute for Race Relations said there were 42,000 people over the age of 100 on the voters roll and that this was an ‘impossible’ number. Some appeared to be 120 years old, in a country with a life expectancy of 43, according to the World Health Organisation.
The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) also noted that nearly a third of registered voters are dead and described the voters roll as a ‘shambles’ that needs to be overhauled before fresh elections are held. ZESN also want the voters roll in electronic form, rather than the paper version.
Two separate independent audits exposed that the voters roll has thousands of ghost voters used to inflate figures for Zanu PF and Mugabe. Experts say there are 2.6 million too many names on the voters roll and this phantom vote is more than enough to settle the outcome of any election.
Mudede’s refusal to relinquish control of the voters roll reinforces suspicions that he is a central player in rigging elections.
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