At least 100 000 people have been struck off the final voters’ roll which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) unveiled yesterday.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said those who were excluded from the voters’ roll include the deceased, those with issues with their national identity (ID) cards and some late registrants whose data could not be decrypted on time.
Chigumba also said the affected people would only be able to vote in the 2023 general elections.
She said Zec engaged the services of Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede’s office to come up with the exclusion list.
“The final voters’ roll contains a total of 5 681 604 registered voters. This figure excludes those who registered after the cut-off date of June 1, 2018 and those on the exclusion list.
“The exclusion list has entries which include the deceased, those with national identity issues such as an appearing one ID number as well as an invalid ID.
“It also includes some multiple registrants and those whose data is yet to be decrypted who registered during the inspection period. Those on the exclusion list, after having attended to corrections, will appear on the 2023 voters’ roll,” she said.
“People on the exclusion list are approximately 100 000 and they are excluded for the various reasons as I have explained. As you know, the Constitution actually stipulates that because was previously the responsibility of the Registrar-General’s office and because the Registrar-General has the mandate of issuing national IDs, we go through the Registrar-General to say these are our registered voters, are the identity documents they availed to us valid because we don’t have the database for ID documents.
“So those whose IDs were deemed invalid by the Registrar-General are most of the people on the exclusion list. There is also a small number of people, about 16 000, or so whose data we unfortunately could not decrypt on time for the production of the voters’ roll. So those, when their issues have been resolved, will appear on the 2023 voters’ roll,” Chigumba said.
She also said the final voters’ roll was ready and an electronic version would be availed to all candidates for free while members of the public and private organisations would pay $2, $10 and $20 respectively for the ward, constituency and national voters’ rolls.
“Zec would like to announce that the consolidated final voters’ roll for the 2018 harmonised elections is now available. We are now in the process of collecting and collating all the statistics from all the country’s 10 provinces to facilitate the gazetting of the names of candidates and thereafter, all successfully nominated candidates will be availed with electronic copies of the final voters’ roll at our expense.
“The commission is aware that the voters’ roll is a critical component of any election and in some instances, it is a source for disputes. All candidates will get the voters’ roll free of charge,” she said.
Chigumba also said the failure to avail the voters’ before the sitting of the nomination court on Wednesday was due to technical reasons.
“I have previously indicated that it would be ideal to avail copies of the final voters’ roll before the sitting of the nomination court, however, due to circumstances beyond our control, we found ourselves unable to actually complete the cleaning of the data which we had obtained during the inspection period where people were filling in hard copies of forms correct any errors.
“The data had to be uploaded into computers and the data had to be decrypted. The decryption process took substantial number of days, more than we had anticipated.
“That was the reason why we were working two 12 hour shifts to facilitate that availability of the final voters’ roll. We then realised that we would not be ready for the final voters’ roll before the sitting of the nomination court,” she said.
Zec gave the first two copies of the voters’ roll to a representative of people living with disabilities and a first time 18-year-old female registered voter.