The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) notes the announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that the Provisional Voters’ Rolls will be open for inspection from May 19 to May 29 2018, in line with Section 21(1) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13). The purpose of the Provisional Voters’ Roll inspection is to allow members of the public to check if their details were correctly captured and if not, have their objections rectified. ZESN calls upon the ZEC to ensure that there is adequate publicity of the exercise to ensure that all registered voters avail themselves to check their registration details during the 10 day period.
ZESN reiterates its calls for ZEC to consider the integration of SMS systems and secure web platforms to enable citizens to verify their registration status and details virtually. The Network believes that such an arrangement would speed up the rectification of any errors in registration details in the system. In addition, ZESN urges the ZEC to timeously publicize the location of the inspection centers to enable the electorate to know well ahead of time where inspection will be taking place. This will guarantee full participation of the electorate in the exercise.
While ZESN notes that the ZEC has started the process of de-duplication, which entails cleaning double registrants from the voters’ roll and verifying finger-prints using AFIS, ZESN is concerned by the lack of information to stakeholders and the electorate about the process. Data provided by the ZEC should be disaggregated by gender/sex, age, province, district, setting (urban- rural), constituency and where possible polling station level. Furthermore, the ZEC should consider providing regular updates on the de-duplication process in order to build confidence.
- The ZEC should consider the use of the SMS systems or web- based applications for the voters’ roll inspection. This will quicken the process of inspection, de-congest registration centers and swiftly rectify any errors and ensure that individuals who might not be able to physically present themselves at the inspection centres are catered for.
- The Commission should ensure adequate publicity and voter education of the voters’ roll inspection to provide comprehensive information to the electorate. The voter education should be inclusive of vulnerable groups, for example people with disabilities.
- The Voters’ roll Inspection Regulations should prescribe clear procedures and stipulated timeframes for the filing of appeals, objections and complaints by aggrieved persons.
- The ZEC should provide regular updates on the de-duplication and other BVR processes to promote transparency.
- The ZEC should open many centres for inspection given the 10 day period that has been set for the process.
- ZESN therefore, urges the Government of Zimbabwe to avail adequate resources to the ZEC to ensure that they fulfill this mandate.
Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)