Destroy Mudede voters’ roll: MDC

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HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the Registrar-General’s office must publicly destroy the old voters’ roll as there is danger of the country being railroaded into elections using it, despite the establishment of a biometric one, the MDC has warned.


Contributing to a debate last Friday on the possibility of the mooted biometric voter registration (BVR) effectively dealing with the electoral challenges that the country has been grappling with since the turn of the millennium, MDC national elections directorate secretary Murisi Zwizwai said “as long as the two (voters’ rolls) exist side by side” there is risk the old one being used.


“…it leaves room for a Jealousy Mawarire moment where someone will approach the Constitutional Court, saying he or she has a right to vote because he is registered on the old voters’ roll and that will be manipulated to justify dumping the BVR because we know Zanu PF has always been against the new system,” Zwizwai said.


He called for an amendment to the electoral laws by “inserting a validation clause that compels all those that are registered under the old system to approach Zec to have their biometric features captured in order to retain their voting rights”.


“We have since approached Zec over this issue but it seems there is not any movement as they continuously tell us they are considering it,” he said.


In 2013, Mawarire — a Zimbabwean citizen — dragged President Robert Mugabe to court and forced an election to be held as prescribed by the Sadc-brokered power-sharing pact in what many viewed as a Zanu PF project that was meant to avoid being subjected to a free, fair and credible electoral process.


Meanwhile, a fresh political storm has since erupted over the awarding of the BVR kits tender to a Chinese company — Laxton Group — by Zec, with the MDC alleging that the “controversial” award is a ploy to “manipulate” the results of the eagerly awaited 2018 elections.


The multi-party debate Murisi was speaking at was organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and was also attended by Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Welshman Ncube’s MDC.

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