Following revelations by the United Kingdom embassy in Zimbabwe that they received a searchable copy of the Voters Roll, local political analysts have raised concern over what they called prioritization of foreign diplomats at the expense of contesting candidates who have reported facing challenges in getting access to the voters register.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, ZEC Chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba set out 11 steps guiding contestants and members of the public’s access to the voter’s roll which some felt were suggestive of the difficulties to access it in just a day.
MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa lambasted ZEC saying they are geared to rig elections following what he said was reluctance by the electoral management body to furnish them with an electronic copy.
“ZEC continues to refuse to release the voters roll. Worse still, the chairperson has now shifted goal posts and says they are printing hard copies. We require an electronic copy, we have made this very clear. What are they trying to hide?”
A United Kingdom based political analyst, Alex Magaisa also expressed displeasure over ZEC’s conduct regarding the voter’s roll.
“But ZEC Zimbabwe gave UK in Zimbabwe a copy of the voters roll? What’s going on at ZEC? A foreign government gets the voters roll but it’s not ready for candidates?” queried Magaisa in response to UK Embassy twitter post.
Another political analyst and Director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya questioned ZEC’s prioritization of foreign diplomats at the expense of contesting candidates whom he said have been denied access to the voters roll.
“Would the British government (Conservative Party) give the Zimbabwe Embassy its voters roll first before its citizens and political parties like the Labour Party?
“While UK embassy in Harare gets excel copy of voter’s roll, ZEC wants to give opposition hard copies. Does the UK embassy vote? Talk of Animal Farm,” said Ruhanya.
Posting on their micro blog twitter, the UK Zimbabwe confirmed receiving the voter’s roll in excel format yesterday.
“UK in Zimbabwe team was able to obtain a searchable copy in Excel format – of the voters’ roll from ZEC Zimbabwe offices in Harare this morning. It took about two hours, but we came away with a disc,” the diplomats said.