Zimbabwe electoral system trashed as Mugabe’s tactics come to light

Reading time 2 min.

Zimbabwe’s discredited electoral system has received a further heavy
knock of no confidence after it showed at the weekend that 134 202
people over the age of 90 were on the voters roll last year.

As of last year, the country had 5.9 million voters on the roll but new research by the Research Advocacy Unit (RAU) poses fresh credibility questions about Zimbabwe’s electoral system.

The report titled 2013 Vision — Seeing Double and the Dead — has amazed observers and reinforced long held suspicions that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has used underhand tactics to retain power.

Analysts said the figures were baffling considering that the average
life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 34 for women and 37 for men and in the
light of the fact that the World Health Organisation predicts that
only 14.7 % of Zimbabweans live beyond 60.

“Some 134 202 people over 90 appear on the roll, with some 30 044 of
these with the listed birth date of 1st January 1901,” the Zimbabwe
Election Support Network (ZESN) said in a statement.

Voters exceed registered number

ZESN says this could explain why the percentage poll in some wards
during the March 2008 harmonised elections exceeded the number of
registered voters.

Another interesting point revealed by the audit is with respect to the
number of voters registered in a Ward, compared to the number who
voted in the 2008 elections, RAU said. “Beitbridge East, for example, had 3 voters registered in Ward 3, but an astonishing 339 people cast their votes in that ward”

There were also questions about the massive swing of voter preference
after the first round of the presidential elections where Mugabe was
beaten into second position by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe “won” the one man race June 27 run-off with a “landslide” amid
allegations that ballot boxes were “stuffed”. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has refused to release the detailed results of the run-off that was roundly dismissed as a shame by world leaders.

There are a lot of other curious statistics on the roll including the fact that 676 887 people have been de-registered since 2002. There are 182 564 instances of entries relating to people with the same identification number who appear on the roll twice or more.

The researchers conclude: “The current state of the voters’ rolls indicates that piecemeal repair is neither desirable nor practical. A re-registration process for the entire country before the next general election by an independent electoral specialist such as Waymark, is not only feasible but would be an important step towards ensuring democratic, universally acceptable and procedurally transparent elections in Zimbabwe”

Zimbabwe  Read latest news and features from Zimbabwe : business, politics, culture, life & style, entertainment and sports
Support Follow Afrik-News on Google News