Controversy over Zimbabwe’s voters’ roll as watershed elections loom


As Zimbabwe gears up for crucial elections later this year, doubts are swirling over the accuracy and fairness of the voters’ roll. The opposition claims thousands of their supporters have been removed from the roll or have incorrect details, threatening to undermine the credibility of the vote.

But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission insists the inspection period is intended to correct errors and irregularities affecting all voters, not target any specific party.

Despite ZEC opening over 11,000 centres nationwide to allow voters to check their registration details ahead of elections, opposition parties say many of their supporters are still finding issues. While ZEC vice chair Rodney Kiwa dismisses the claims as “mischievous and preposterous”, early indications are that few voters are actually turning up in person to inspect the roll. Most seem to be checking online instead. As the inspection period ends this week, all eyes will be on whether ZEC can fix the errors reported and restore trust in the voters’ roll.

Since the inspection process began on Saturday, opposition figures say many of their supporters have complained of being missing from the voters roll or having incorrect details. While ZEC insists the anomalies affect all voters and the inspection is meant to correct them, critics claim pro-government bias. The opposition says thousands of their members risk being disenfranchised unless all reported issues are comprehensively fixed before the August 23 election date proclaimed by President Mnangagwa yesterday.

As long-awaited elections finally loom in Zimbabwe, hopes for a free and fair vote hinge on the accuracy and integrity of the voters’ roll. But reports of anomalies and errors have raised doubts, threatening to undermine credibility. ZEC has a small window to fix all issues reported and restore confidence before voting day. Failure to do so convincingly could spell trouble, risking a disputed election outcome and further frustrations for Zimbabweans desperate for true democratic change.

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