By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
IN a development that could signal a scandalous vote rigging plot, former Chinhoyi mayor, Dyke Makumbi, shockingly discovered that his wife’s name and five other people who were supposed to support his candidature were missing from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s voters roll despite having registered.
He made the discovery during the sitting of the Nomination Court at Chinhoyi Town House, where he was filing his nomination papers. He is bidding to bounce back as councillor after he was recalled by the MDC-T.
To his utter shock, Makumbi found out that his wife Nolene, his number one nominator as she has always done in previous polls, was no longer listed as an eligible voter.
The ex-mayor was further dismayed to learn from ZEC officials present that his other five nominators namely, Usumani Usumaili, Stella Jezereni, Blandina Muparaganda, Baison Muparaganda and Amos Madzinga had been struck off the voters’ register despite having participated in the 2018 general elections.
Circumstances under which their names were obliterated are still unclear.
Fears are that this could be a rampant, nationwide plot to disenfranchise numerous voters ahead of the 2023 general election.
“Imagine my wife has always been my number one nominator over the years and all of a sudden her name is not found on the ZEC voters roll. Names of five other people l had selected as nominators for me to be eligible to contest the by-election couldn’t be found. A computerised search also proved they had been removed, despite having participated in previous elections,” Makumbi said.
“Cases like these bring in doubt the authenticity or correctness of the ZEC voters roll. This is probably the tip of the iceberg; hordes of people might be surprised to find themselves not on the voters roll regardless of being registered voters,” he said.
Makumbi said he would take up the issue with his party, the Citizens Coalition for Change, which is expected to escalate the matter to ZEC.
Efforts to get comment from ZEC headquarters proved fruitless by the time of publishing.
Meanwhile, ZEC has announced the start of voter registration at various centres across Chinhoyi from February 2 until February 29, 2022.
This would enable potential voters to enlist to cast ballots in the 2023 harmonised elections and latter polls but will not be able to vote in the March 26 by-elections.