A clean voters’ roll is essential to a free and fair election

As election 2018 fast approaches, the MDC would like to reiterate that a clean and legitimate national voters’ roll is an essential ingredient of a free and fair election.

The outcome of previous elections in Zimbabwe has been hugely contested by opposition political parties mainly because, amongst a plethora of other electoral shenanigans, the voters’ roll was always shambolic and unreliable. Thousands of deceased people would still find their names on the voters’ roll and indeed, many a time, deceased persons would resurrect on polling day to cast their vote before promptly retreating back to their graves!

It is incumbent upon ZEC, as the election management body, to ensure that the forthcoming BVR exercise is conducted in a transparent, accountable and efficient manner. Anything short of this will not be acceptable to the toiling masses of Zimbabwe. Next year’s elections should afford Zimbabweans an opportunity to freely and fairly cast their votes in an environment that is not contaminated with political violence, intimidation nor any other form of electoral malfeasance for that matter.

Zimbabweans are now sick and tired of rigged elections that deny them the opportunity to freely and fairly elect a government of their choice.

Currently, the Registrar – General’s office is conducting a countrywide exercise to issue birth, death and national registration certificates to people. We have already received reports that people are being called upon to pay no less than US$10 for the replacement of a lost national ID.

So–called aliens are also being called upon to pay no less than US$50 to be allocated a new national ID confirming that they are Zimbabwean citizens who will be entitled to register to vote. It is a notorious fact that more than 90% of Zimbabweans are surviving on less than US$1 per day. Thus, it is very unfair and inconvenient to expect poverty – stricken people to fork out these rather exorbitant amounts of money in order to access new national IDs. The MDC calls upon the relevant authorities to immediately address this anomaly.

No eligible Zimbabwean citizen should be denied a national ID simply because he/she is too poor to pay for the acquisition of such an important document.

Similarly, no eligible Zimbabwean citizen should be denied his/her constitutional right to register as a voter simply because they couldn’t afford to acquire the relevant national ID. This is the time for both the Registrar – General’s office and ZEC to work flat out to ensure that by the time that the BVR exercise commences, all Zimbabweans who are eligible to be registered as voters shall surely be able to register as such. Nothing short of this will be acceptable.

MDC: Equal Opportunities for All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson

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