‘We are not sorry’ – discredited ZEC backtracks on earlier admission
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has withdrawn its apology to Zimbabweans for depriving thousands of prospective first-time voters an opportunity to participate in the upcoming by-elections and accused daily newspapers of carrying “false narratives.”
The Commission’s spokesperson Joyce Kazembe admitted to NewsDay this week, of failing to provide adequate and accessible registration centres throughout the country. But it has already closed the voters’ roll for the by-elections slated for March 26 this year.
She apologized after realising that several people failed to register to vote due to inaccessibility of its 72 district centres.
“We know that there are some who stay far from the district offices who may not be able to easily access the registration centres, but for now, we are abiding by the law. But we are sorry. We apologise,” she said.
“However, the registration process is still ongoing for other elections other than the by-elections. We have 9 000 biometric voters’ registration kits that we will roll out throughout the country to ensure complete accessibility of the registration service.”
On Tuesday morning, ZEC woke up dismissing the apology made by its spokesperson arguing that “there is nothing to apologise, we know our constitutional mandate.”
“No Apology, these are the reasons why we postponed the VR blitz and we communicated with stakeholders on 24 Nov 2021. With respect there is nothing to apologise, we know our constitutional mandate, we will carry it in full despite false narratives in daily newspapers #SorryNotSorry,” ZEC said in a statement on Twitter.
Last November, ZEC suspended a voter registration blitz which was scheduled for the 6th of December. The move was taken during a massive opposition MDC Alliance poll mobilisation drive.
Since the beginning of this year, the opposition embarked on a voter registration campaign mainly targeting the youths ahead of the blitz that was suspended.
ZEC said it still stands with a statement by the commission’s acting chief executive officer Jane Chigidji that announced the suspension of the December voter registration blitz.
“Please be advised that the mobile biometric voter registration exercise, which was scheduled for December 6, 2021, has been rescheduled to a later date to be announced in due course,” read part of the statement.
ZEC was under-fire a few weeks ago after it initially claimed only 2 000 had registered as first-time voters throughout the year, but later revised the figure to 2 951. Nehanda Radio