ZEC assures voters
Nqobile Tshili-Bulawayo Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said everyone who registered to vote will not be disenfranchised as the electoral body will rectify any anomalies that will be detected during the ongoing voters roll inspection exercise.
ZEC opened the voter’s roll for inspection on Saturday and the process which was supposed to end tomorrow is now ending on Thursday because the electoral management body encountered challenges in some areas.
More than 11 000 centres have been opened countrywide to enable voters who registered on or before April 28 to check their registration details.
Apart from the physical assessment of the voters roll, Econet and NetOne mobile phone subscribers can check their registration status using the *265# facility.
Since the start of the voters roll inspection exercise some members of the public have said that their names are missing from the voters roll while other have even claimed that their names have in fact been struck off the voters roll.
In an interview yesterday, ZEC chief elections officer Mr Utloile Silaigwana said the electoral management body is transparent in its operations hence its decision to take the voters roll to the doorstep of communities.
“Why does ZEC take the voters roll to the people? It is because we want the voters themselves who are the owners of the voters roll to audit the roll by checking their names and their details. They should check whether they are placed in the correct polling station, ward and constituency. In the event there are anomalies detected by the voters, ZEC will ensure they are corrected,” he said
Mr Silaigwana said voters that identify anomalies will be made to complete forms as part of the process to effect the corrections.
He said the reasoning behind displaying the voters roll for inspection is for voters to identify any anomalies so that they are corrected before the elections.
Mr Silaigwana said the voters roll inspection exercise comes after ZEC conducted the delimitation exercise which in some instances resulted in the movement of voters from one polling station to the other.
He said the inspection exercise will also enable the public to know how their polling stations have changed.
“Perhaps it is very important that the electorate at large and our people in Zimbabwe know that recently we had a very important exercise which is the delimitation exercise. The latest delimitation exercise was done more than 13 years after the one done between 2007 and 2008,” said Mr Silaigwana.
He said since then there have been a lot of movement.
“The demographics have changed, people have moved. People who voted at Luveve Primary School in the last elections might find themselves at Mafakela Primary School due to the delimitation. I’m just giving an example. What people should therefore appreciate is that the movement of voters is inevitable due to the delimitation exercise,” said Mr Silaigwana.
He said every registered voter is able to exercise his or her right to vote in the 2023 harmonised elections.
Mr Silaigwana said he understands that some people might have not found their names in their old polling stations hence the correction of the anomalies.
He said challenges experienced during the voters roll inspection exercise enable ZEC to improve its election preparations.
“Probably some people could have gone to the places where they usually vote but because of the delimitation exercise they might have been moved. There is no need for anyone to press a panic button because these anomalies that I’m talking about can be corrected,” said Mr Silaigwana.
He said those who claim their names have been struck off from the voters roll altogether can visit Zec district offices so that their problem can be addressed.
“Those no longer appearing, if there are such cases, can come to Zec and complete a form to ensure the anomalies are corrected. Our mandate is to enfranchise, facilitate voting of all registered voters hence we will attend to all anomalies identified,” he said
Mr Silaigwana said the proclamation of the election date by the President marks the start of the election period.
“This will be followed by a number of activities. When His Excellency proclaims the date of election the voters roll closes two days after that. This means you cannot register for this election two days after the proclamation but you can still register for the next election,” said Mr Silaigwana.
He said the other activity that follows the proclamation of the election date is the sitting of the Nomination Court.
Mr Silaigwana said after the sitting of the Nomination Court ZEC will then print the ballot papers.
He said as the commission prepares for the coming elections, the public should guard against spreading falsehoods that create alarm and despondency.
Mr Silaigwana said political actors should instead promote a peaceful environment ahead of the coming polls.
“There is no need to cause unnecessary alarm and despondency by peddling falsehoods,” he said