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ZEC erodes public confidence with shambolic voter inspection process

With the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) known for presiding over disputable elections, reports of people including sitting MPs inspecting the voter’s roll and not finding their names are further eroding public confidence in ZEC.

While other citizens are worried that ZEC is failing to provide the country’s voters’ roll at some inspection centers as the nation inches closer to crucial council, parliamentary and presidential elections, some are raising concerns that their names are not appearing.

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change senator David Coltart said his name and those of his wife and youngest daughter were not appearing on the voters roll when he checked.

“I have just been to the ZEC inspection tent at Burnside Garage to check if my name is on the voters roll. It isn’t! I have lived in my current home since 1986 and have been registered at Burnside for decades. I am a citizen and former Cabinet Minister. How can this be?”

“My wife and youngest daughter’s names do not appear either. If we have been moved to another polling station we haven’t been advised. But I doubt that is the case because my checks on the national roll through *265# have been unsuccessful. How can we all have been removed?

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“Whilst at the inspection center the presiding officer told me that numerous other people can’t find their names. Only 445 are on the Burnside roll – against what should be a figure of 1000. So hundreds have been removed at this polling station.”

Coltart further described the whole process as “shambolic and shameful.”

“ZEC is exposed as an incompetent, brazenly partisan body. There can be no free, fair or lawful election with this nonsense.”

Another prominent CCC member Gladys Hlatywayo also said, when she enquired about her name, ZEC officers tried to stop her from checking the details on her own.

Before being allowed to check, Hlatywayo told ZEC officers that she had seen President Emmerson Mnangagwa inspecting the voters roll on his own.

“I had a weird experience with the ZEC voter inspection process today. They denied me access to my details and without mentioning specific provisions of the law they insisted the law did not allow me to have a look at my own details- a proposition I vehemently rejected!

“I told them I saw Mr Mnangagwa inspecting the roll and he checked his own details. I told them I was not a second class citizen and therefore I should inspect my own details like Mr Mnangagwa did.

“The official had just requested my ID and told me my details were captured correctly. I told them I had come to inspect the roll and not to have the ZEC official inspect on my behalf. After several phone calls and consultations with the police she then showed me my details.

“I had earlier visited the Girls High Inspection centre and observed that there were sheets of Zanu-PF primary election results pasted just outside the inspection centre. I naturally protested and asked the ZEC officials to pull the papers down.

“It is such that erodes public confidence in ZEC. I don’t understand why they wanted to inspect the roll on my behalf. I also don’t understand why the zanu pf primary election results were outside the inspection center. We need to be vigilant,” she said.

CCC interim vice president Welshman Ncube and former Minister of Industry and Commerce said he did not find his name also.

“This morning I went to the other inspection centres within ward 4 in the neighbourhood of my residence to check if my name had been moved to those polling stations. My name didn’t appear on any of them. Hillside Primary School referred me to Windsor Park, the Provincial office

“At Windsor Park the lady who attended to me first used the electronic platform and the system could not locate my name and ID particulars. She then went into the ZEC computer mainframe and advised that my name appeared on the voter’s roll for Burnside Garage Tent polling station.

“I asked her how it was possible that the hard copy printout of the same voter’s roll sent to the inspection centre wd not have my name and the computer version from which that printout came wd have my name she had no explanation and referred me to her boss who also had no explanation.

“I also asked how my name would appear on their mainframe computer and yet their electronic platform is unable to find my name and ID particulars which are in the system and they had no explanation. All they could say is that they are similar problems across Byo and are being attended to,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi praised Mnangagwa and his wife saying they had taken the voters roll inspection seriously when they went to check their names at Sherwood Primary in Kwekwe.

“The seriousness of this exercise of checking your name in the voters roll during this voter inspection process is such that H.E President Mnangagwa and Amai were at Sherwood Primary in Kwekwe, their voting center. They were checking on their names physically in the voters roll,” he said.