HomePoliticsMDC slams 'flawed' registration

MDC slams ‘flawed’ registration

Gift Phiri

ZIMBABWE’S main opposition party has alleged gross irregularities in the ongoing mobile voter registration exercise which it describes as “seriously flawed”.

erdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary-general, Professor Welshman Ncube, this week criticised the manner in which the exercise was being undertaken.

“The MDC notes with regret that the mobile voter registration programme currently under way is seriously flawed and may well impede the rights of the people of Zimbabwe to freely participate in the democratic process,” said Ncube in a letter to Electoral Supervisory Commission (ESC) chairman, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele.

“Of great concern is the lack of enough publicity and the confusion around the mobile voter registration programme. Some people, particularly most young and first-time voters, are being denied the opportunity to register for lack of proof of residence.”

ESC spokesperson Thomas Bvuma yesterday confirmed receipt of the letter but said he did not communicate with political parties through newspapers.

“We communicate directly with the MDC, not through your newspaper,” said Bvuma. “We will respond to that letter and we cannot discuss a document which was leaked to you.”

The letter, also copied to Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and the registrar-general, Tobaiwa Mudede, warns the ESC voter registration programme could be illegal.

“The MDC reminds you that the constitution of Zimbabwe is clear that all citizens are entitled to be registered as voters,” said Ncube. “Our view is that the requirement being imposed on potential voters to produce letters from chiefs, rates accounts and so on are unconstitutional and therefore illegal.”

The MDC made four demands to the ESC that it said should be adhered to to bring a semblance of order to the exercise. The opposition party said it would like the ESC to conduct an urgent audit of the voters’ roll to ensure that all dead people’s names were removed.

The party also demanded a well-publicised and funded campaign countrywide to ensure that all people eligible to be registered were given a fair opportunity to do so. Ncube said the exercise should enable all existing voters to check the voters’ roll to ensure that their names appear on the list.

The party also said the RG’s office should stop demanding proof of residence as a condition for registration.

The letter chronicles widespread irregularities in the voter registration exercise in Manicaland, Matabeleland, Masvingo, Chitungwiza and Harare.

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