The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) today responded to the petition delivered by the MDC Alliance as part of 5 June demonstration. The response was printed in the today’s Sunday Mail newspaper.
The Commission has essentially said the MDC Alliance’s demand for the voters’ rolls is premature and that they should allow ZEC to complete cleaning up the voters’ roll following the inspection exercise. Says part of the response:
The demand by the Alliance for an electronic copy of the provisional voters’ roll is premature. We provided aread onlycopy of the printed voters roll because it is subject to correction. Section 21 of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] does not refer to a _provisional voters’ roll but a final voters’ roll for an election. In particular, Section 21 (4) provides that within a reasonable period of time after the calling of an election, the Commission should provide every political party that intends to contest the election and accredited observer who requests it with a voters’ roll to be used in the election whether in printed or in electronic form as the party or observers may request. The voters’ roll referred to here is a final one for the election and it cannot be a provisional one. That is the Commission’s reading of the law. It is the final voters’ roll which must be in an analysable format not the printed voters’ roll.
It is only rational in the circumstances, for the Commission to be allowed to complete its process and produce a new voters’ roll which stakeholders would have every right to raise questions and objections on. The Commission is at the tail end of the process of cleaning and updating the roll following the inspection period which was conducted from the 19th to the 29th of May 2018 and urges all stakeholders to be patient. It is confident that the BVR exercise coupled with the use of the MIS will produce the desired product for the country. In all fairness the country needs to start on a new slate on the voters’ roll. It is our considered view that availing a provisional voters’ roll to stakeholders will only create confusion and raise unnecessary questions for it is an imperfect document still fraught with errors and duplications.