JUST IN: ZEC speaks on election rigging claims, Retired Major Utoile Silaigwana issues statement

ZEC chief elections officer Army Major (Rtd) Utoile Silaigwana

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has dismissed allegations of rigging purportedly exposed by an analysis requested by a political party as pure malice bent on diminishing the public’s confidence in the country’s electoral processes.

ZEC said the so-called analyses being posted on social media platforms are clearly targeted at confusing the image of the commission.

In a statement, ZEC chief elections officer, Mr Utoile Silaigwana said any voters’ roll requested in terms of Section 21 (3) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) was a valid document as of the date of issue and was subject to subsequent additions of any new registrants or removal of voters because of death or disqualification.

“Please note that voter registration and the maintenance of the voter’s roll is a continuous process in terms of Section 17A of the Electoral Act. Thus, the removal of deceased voters, duplicates and other malcontents is a continuous exercise necessary for the update of the voters roll in an effort to keep it accurate, complete and current.

“The state of the voter’s roll is always very fluid save for cases where it is deemed closed for purposes of an election in terms of sections 26A and 121A of the Electoral Act, as the case may be, and in this instance, for wards and constituencies being contested on the 26 March 2022 by-election whose voters’ roll have already been closed and compiled,” he said.

Mr Silaigwana said the public should know that the commission has come across a few cases of several different people using the same national identity cards and physical addresses to register as voters.

He said investigations have revealed that there were some people who engage in the legal practice of giving their identity documents to relatives for use.

“In some cases, the identity documents are stolen and used without the owner’s knowledge. The commission’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) does not pick such anomalies since the fingerprints of the registrants are different because they are indeed different people sharing the same identity cards.

“However, when the commission identifies such regularities, it removes the entries from the voters and puts them on an exclusion list pending regularisation of the identities by the Civil Registry.”

Mr Silaigwana said regarding allegations of too many transfers, the public is hereby informed that the Electoral Law permits any voter who has become resident in another constituency or ward to transfer their registration to that constituency or ward upon production of their proof of entity and requisite residence documents.

He said it was upon registered voters resident in the constituency or ward to object to the new registration if they feel that that is not the case.

Mr Silaigwana said ZEC has no authority to deny a voter his or her right to transfer.

— Herald

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