16 July 2017

Zimbabwe: Makarau Admits Chiwundura Poll Flaws

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) at the weekend admitted that the Saturday Chiwundura house of assembly by-election had serious electoral flaws.

The by election was won by Zanu PF's Brown Ndlovu who was contesting against National Constitutional Assembly's Takudzwa Guzete, Brighton Mudzwiti of Free Zimbabwe Congress and the Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe's Webster Zulu.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Kizito Chivamba in April.

On Sunday, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) chairperson Andrew Makoni who had mobile observers in Chiwundura said they unearthed several electoral anomalies during the Election Day which they highlighted to ZEC.

He said ZEC did not deny the anomalies but rather apologised to the election watchdog.

"ZEC informed the ZESN mobile observer team that there were irregularities relating to the appearance of persons with the same name and surname, date and place of birth but with different identification numbers and photos on their national identification documents," said ZESN in a statement.

ZESN said ZEC told them that there were some records of people with exactly the same first name, surname, gender and date of birth but with different identification numbers.

They were also told that some voters were reported to have identification numbers that were invalid.

"This reinforces ZESN calls for ZEC to discard the 2013 voters roll which continues to affect the credibility, confidence and trust of the ZEC and elections," said ZESN.

"This clarity will enhance stakeholder confidence in electoral processes and allay fears that have been raised by stakeholders with regards to possible double registration or electoral malpractices particularly in view of the impending Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) process", Makoni said.

"The explanation by ZEC is important as the same issues are likely to appear at a larger scale when the final audit of the BVR register is conducted. If these issues are not clarified and rectified they can be detrimental to the credibility of future elections in Zimbabwe", he said.

The opposition have been raising these issues against ZEC which they want to be addressed before next year's elections.

These parties have since called for the establishment of an independent body by the international community which will oversee next year's polls.

Tendai Biti, one of the opposition party leaders, has warned of lawsuits against ZEC over these issues.

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