122 voters shared one address not 400 – ZEC boss


A staggering 122 people registered as voters staying at the same place, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission boss Priscillah Chigumba said, and it turned out this was a church shrine.

She said there was nothing her commission could do because they brought affidavits that were genuine and authentic.

She refuted media reports that 400 people were staying at one place.

“In terms of our administrative processes, there is absolutely nothing that we did wrong as a commission in accepting those sworn statements. It might be debatable whether or not those people ought to have been prosecuted for swearing to affidavits but with regards to that particular instance,” she said an in interview with the Herald.

“By the way, it is actually 122 people, it’s a church shrine we understand there are some residences there at the church shrine. It is not 400 or 300, it is 122 and they all brought sworn statements which was in line with our stipulated procedures so we did nothing wrong.”

On a person who was reportedly over 150 years old and those with similar identity numbers, Chigumba said those people were rejected by the system. They were not on the voters’ roll but the exclusion roll.

“We have been told there is a person who is 150 years old, we have been told that there are people with similar IDs. You will find that those people with ID particulars that were rejected by the system are actually on the exclusion roll, not the voters roll,” she said.

“It is something which is beyond our control as a commission, because we actually don`t have a mandate to register citizens, we don’t issue ID. What we basically did with the data that we received is, wherever we flagged similar IDs, similar names or people who appeared to be shall I say to have an abnormal length of life, we referred all those cases to the Registrar General because he has the mandate to keep the register of citizens and he basically then said to us, this person is not in our system.

“I do not want to speak for the Registrar General because I don’t have the mandate but basically I understand that there are some people who did some unorthodox things in order to register themselves as citizens of Zimbabwe. That is the mandate of the Registrar General, he is seized with these matters.

“What we did is that when those people were flagged by our system, we excluded them from the final voters` roll, they may have appeared on provisional voters` rolls but we excluded them from the final voters roll and referred them to the Registrar General for correction and investigation and possible further action which is within the purview of the Registrar General.

“Yes, we admit people walked up to our machines; they were registered but when they were flagged they were excluded. If you recall, one of the basic requirements of being registered to vote is that one must be a Zimbabwean citizen and we use our national IDs to show that we are citizens. The minute you have a problem or an anomaly with your ID, you are no longer eligible to be registered to vote. We do accept and we have encouraged people to say, if they correct those anomalies they can still reregister and appear on the 2023 election, so it is not necessarily fatal.”


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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