PTUZ President Criticises ZEC For Removing Voters From Voters' Roll
Dr. Takavafira M. Zhou, the President of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), has criticised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for its “incompetence” and “deliberate” removal of voters from the voters’ roll.
In a statement seen by Pindula News, Zhou who is also a member of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) expressed concern that a considerable number of Zimbabweans had been disenfranchised due to ZEC’s actions. He said although these individuals attempted to be returned to the voters’ roll, their efforts were unsuccessful in most parts of the country, such as Mutare, Masvingo, Zvishavane, and Mberengwa, as the district offices claimed that the network was down since 28 May 2023.
Zhou said many disenfranchised citizens were unable to inspect the voters’ roll, rendering the exercise futile. Dr. Zhou questioned how individuals who voted in 2018 and the 2022 by-elections could suddenly disappear from the voters’ roll, unless it was a deliberate act by ZEC for political expediency. He said:
Zec’s incompetence baffling.
A considerable number of Zimbabweans have been disenfranchised by Zec by deliberately being removed from the voters’ roll. Sadly, attempts by such people to be returned to the voters’ roll were futile as District offices in most parts such as Mutare, Masvingo, Zvishavane and Mberengwa claimed network was down since 28 May 2023. So the inspection of the voters’ roll was of no consequence to many disenfranchised citizens. One wonders how someone who voted in 2018, let alone by-elections in 2022, could suddenly disappear from the voters’ roll unless it is by design and political expediency by Zec.
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ZEC denied allegations of deliberately removing opposition members’ names from the voters’ roll. ZEC vice-chairperson Rodney Kiwa recently stated that the electoral body is independent and not affiliated with any political party. He said the purpose of the voters’ roll inspection is to ensure accurate registration and corrections, regardless of political affiliation.
Kiwa added that more people are using the USSD platform *265# to check the voters’ roll than physically checking in person. The inspection exercise, which began on Saturday last week, was extended to 1 June 2023. Some registered voters, including opposition members of parliament, claim that their names are missing from the voters’ roll.
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