Zec says parties must carry own voters’ roll audit

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The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said opposition parties must use their own resources to conduct voter’s roll audit since the election management board is not obliged to undertake the process.

Opposition parties have been crying for electoral reforms amongst them a voters’ roll audit.

ZEC commissioner Qhubani Moyo, speaking at a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) workshop on election reporting to journalists in Gweru Thursday, said there is no legal framework for ZEC to conduct voters roll audit.

“People are free to audit the new Biometric Voters Roll using their own resources and give us the results. That will be a good undertaking because it will be a thorough process of eliminating suspicion.

“In terms of the law, there is no provision for ZEC to be conducting the audit of the voters roll. We, however, want to point out that citizens are welcome to inspect the voters roll,” said Moyo.

MDC-T president Nelson Chamisa has since declared Zimbabwe will not hold elections as expected unless President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government accedes to demands for comprehensive reforms.

Amongst the electoral reforms opposition parties are calling for the audit of the voters roll.

ZEC has also assured the nation that the printing of the ballot papers is going to be done in a transparent manner.

“Some key stakeholders are concerned with how and where the ballot paper will be printed. We want to give assurance that the process of the printing of the ballot papers will be done in a transparent manner.

“The process of printing the ballot paper is open and we are going to put up a tender. Whichever company is chosen to print the ballot papers for the 2018 elections will be made public. And we want to assure the nation that the ballot papers will be serialised. The commission believes in the transparent and credibility of the elections,” Moyo said.

ZEC, Moyo said, is competent enough to deliver a credible election.

The commissioner highlighted that the voters roll will be completed by mid-May as the elections management board is currently seized with, ‘de-duplication.’

“We have to ensure that the new voters roll must be done by mid-May. We are very confident that we will meet the deadline. ZEC is currently seized with de-duplication

“De-duplication is a process where ZEC is eliminating incidences of multiple registrations. We want to ensure that we have a clean voters roll were we don’t have repeated names,” he said.

The ZEC official further highlighted that the voters inspection will be done between 14-21 days.

“We are geared up for this election as we are anticipating that the Presidential proclamation on the election dates is between 21 July and 21 August as anything beyond that is unconstitutional. It is the President’s prerogative to proclaim the elections date. With the current constitution dates are literally defined unlike in the past,” he said.

The election management board is happy with the current election season.

“The country is already in an election mode. We are however happy with the current election season which is defined by peace, tranquillity and soberness in the approach of issues. Our past elections are characterised with violence,” he said.