By Mandipa Masenyama
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has dismissed claims by a local pressure group alleging it was planning to rig the upcoming by-elections on behalf of Zanu PF.
The allegations were made by Team Pachedu, which claimed it had evidence of how 170 867 registered voters were illegally moved from their constituencies by ZEC ahead of the March 26 by-elections and the crunch 2023 harmonised polls.
Hundreds of voters were reportedly moved from Zvimba East to Glenview South were Vincent Tsvangirai, son to late icon Morgan is currently Member of Parliament (MP).
ZEC chief electoral officer Utoile Silaigwana said the allegations are just meant to undermine its credibility.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to dismiss allegations of rigging purportedly exposed by an analysis of a national voter’s roll requested by a political party as pure malice bent on diminishing the public’s confidence on the voter’s roll and the country’s electoral process,” said Silaigwana in a statement released Monday.
“The so-called analyses being posted on social media platforms are clearly targeted at confusing the electorate and tarnishing the image of the Commission.
Silaigwana explained cases of similar names, illogical numbers of people living at a single place and movement of people beyond constituencies.
“The public should also know that the commission has come across a few cases of several different people using the same national identity cards and sometimes, the same physical addresses to register as voters,” he said.
“Investigations have revealed that there are some people who engage in the illegal practice of giving their identity documents to relatives for use, in some cases the identity documents are stolen and used without the owner’s knowledge however when the commission identifies such irregularities, it moves the entries from the voter’s roll and puts them on an exclusion list pending regularisation of the identities by the Civil Registry.
“ZEC is not secretly changing boundaries as alleged by the so-called analyst and no boundary delimitation has started.
“Delimitation is a public exercise involving stakeholder consultations and it shall only commence after the conclusion of the national population census. The allegations are therefore unfounded and meant only to tarnish the image of the Commission and to mislead stakeholders.”