Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Trying to Rig the Elections Through the Voters Roll

press release

The MDC is greatly outraged at the attempts by the Registrar Generals Office to rig the upcoming general elections in Zimbabwe through the blatant manipulation of the ongoing voter registration exercise.

The Registrar Generals office has denied the MDC any information regarding the voter registration centers throughout the country while making that information available to Zanu PF. In those rare cases where the information regarding the voter registration centers has become known to the MDC, partisan officials of the Registrar Generals office have embarked on systematic delays in commencing the voter registration process thus frustrating the prospective voters in most centers.

Although the mobile voter registration exercise was supposed to target prospective voters mostly in the rural wards, the Registrar Generals Office has completely ignored most rural wards in this exercise. In most of these chosen wards MDC members are systematically kept in the dark regarding the actual dates,venues and times for the voter registration exercise.

Most people in rural areas are being denied the chance to register because they can not afford to pay the exorbitant fees being demanded. For example people are being asked to fork out US$5 to secure national registration cards which would enable them to register as voters while the so called "aliens" are being turned away, or asked to pay a staggering US$40.00 in order to get new registration cards.

Contrary to what was announced as the cabinet resolution prospective voters in rural areas are being asked to produce letters from traditional leaders as proof of residence. Most of these traditional leaders have been intimidated by Zanu PF to deny these letters to known MDC supporters. Resultantly thousands of people have been turned away from the voter registration centers.

Thousands of MDC supporters have had their names deliberately deleted from the voters roll while some have had their names posted to voters' rolls of other constituencies. This deliberate confusion is meant to deny the people registered on the voters' roll the chance to vote. In some provinces, government vehicles are being abused to ferry known Zanu PF members to registration centers while those who are perceived to be MDC members are turned away.

The MDC position is that the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede, who is notorious for rigging elections for Zanu PF should have nothing to do with the mobile voter registering exercise and that as provided in the GPA the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission(ZEC) should assume responsibility for this vital process.

The MDC can not accept a voter registration exercise designed to disenfranchise the some people in Zimbabwe. The clandestine manner in which the current mobile voter registration process is being conducted is totally unacceptable.

It is clear that the current exercise can not produce a credible voters' roll meaning that it is incapable of resulting in a free and fair election. MDC reiterates its position that it is ready for free and fair elections at any time. However, no elections must be called on the basis of the current voters roll.

We totally reject the current voters roll as currently constituted. We demand complete and transparent audit of the voters roll with the participation of all the stakeholders.

Zimbabweans are ready for a new dispensation, an era of genuine transformation and will turn out in their numbers to register to vote despite attempts to frustrate them. Change is nigh. No weapon designed to drain our people shall prosper any more for the wheels of change are on course.

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