Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba has allayed fears that over 2,000 ‘fake’ registrants using counterfeit identity cards (IDs), identified by pressure group Team Pachedu last year, will be allowed to vote.
Team Pachedu’s 2022 revelation that thousands of its leaked voters’ roll had assigned new voters with IDs produced decades before their birth.
In most circumstances, characters with slightly different names would share ID numbers or be recorded similarly with different genders.
“The 2022 Voters Roll has voters with IDs that were issued decades before they were born. After investigating these IDs against the 2000-2013 Voters Roll and Registrar General’s (RG) office, we confirmed ZEC assigned fake young ages for some old IDs,” said Team Pachedu then.
However, speaking at Wednesday Indaba with August 23 Election Observers in Harare, Chigumba clarified that ZEC had what she called an Exclusion List for such cases.
This list according to her will be passed on to the RG office for verification as that is the office responsible for issuing IDs.
“We do not have the mandate of issuing Zimbabwean citizens with national identities, that mandate belongs to the RG’s office,” said Chigumba.
“What we do is when we have registered voters with similar or almost similar details and purport to be the same person, we send the details to the RG so they advise us who the correct person is.
“Sometimes this takes a little bit of time. Pending the confirmation by the RG’s office all of them will be put on what we call an Exclusion List.
“The Exclusion List will again in terms of the Electoral Law be published to say who will be allowed by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO).”
ZEC is under growing pressure to convince mainly opposition players that it is not titling Zimbabwe’s General Elections in favour of ruling Zanu PF.
Questions of its credibility have been raised over the past five years, following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s heavily contested 2018 win.
This year aspiring President Douglas Mwonzora has withdrawn from the race in protest to ZEC’s decision to bar 87 of his Parliamentary candidates from contesting.
The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is suing ZEC for failing to avail the Voters Roll that will be used on August 23.