Interference by politicians has become an issue of concern in the Registrar General’s Office’s identity documents and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s voter registration processes in Manicaland province.
Recent allegations are that Buhera South Member of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Chinotimba, forcibly ordered the headmaster of Muzokomba Primary School, Rameck Makaranga, who is also a ZEC Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) supervisor, to act as a commissioner of oaths.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) Director Okay Machisa said such behaviour by politicians threatened to mar the crucial process.
“We appeal to politicians to keep their hands away from meddling in these processes as that could result in disruptions. They should not try to politicise processes that are to benefit of everyone and allow everyone to exercise their rights without feeling threatened or uncomfortable,” he said.
Before allegations of giving directions to the ZEC staffer, Hon. Chinotimba was also cited in interference with the Registrar General’s Office’s mobile registration process for birth certificates, death certificates and national identity cards in the Buhera Rural District Council (RDC) area.
On September 22, 2017, Hon. Chinotimba reportedly disrupted the smooth floor of the mobile registration of birth certificates at Mutiusinazita Secondary School in Ward 27, about 80 km from Murambinda growth point, by ordering queued people to sit down and listen to his ad hoc address.
The Zanu-PF parliamentarian reportedly chanted political slogans and canvassed for people to vote for him for the second term in the 2018 harmonised elections, while also threatening people with unspecified action if they fail to do so.
He reportedly proceeded to campaign at the venue and donate a 2kg packet of rice to each person.
Further reports are that, on September 25, 2017, Zanu-PF Cllr. Mupinda Chibangamusindo and Zanu-PF local chairman, Boas Chimombe, interfered with the identity documents registration process by attempting to supervise qualified staff at Chapanduka Primary School in Ward 28 and Murove Primary School in Ward 28 respectively.