News / Africa

Audit: More Than a Million Extra Names on Zimbabwe Voter Rolls

Supporters of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party cheer during an election rally in Chitungwiza, about 35 kilometers south of the capital Harare, July 16, 2013.
Supporters of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party cheer during an election rally in Chitungwiza, about 35 kilometers south of the capital Harare, July 16, 2013.
— An independent audit of Zimbabwe's voters roll has found it contains the names of more than a million people who either are deceased or have left the African country. The research group that conducted the audit spoke to reporters Wednesday after the government blocked it from making a presentation to civil society groups. The findings come less than two weeks before Zimbabwe is due to hold national elections.

The Research and Advocacy Unit [RAU] was supposed to present the findings of its audit of the voters roll on Wednesday to pro-democracy civic organizations in Harare. But the event was canceled on government orders, said Kuda Chitsike, who heads the RAU.

“The Registrar General left an interdict at our offices from the High Court to stop the event from going ahead," said Chitsike. "The Registrar General’s interdict is based on a misconception that we wanted to launch the voters’ roll. RAU was going to launch an analysis done on the voters’ roll. The chairperson of ZEC and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission are aware that RAU has been working on such an audit.”

Analysis of voters roll

The electoral commission had asked the Registrar General’s office - a government department - to compile a voters’ roll for the July 31 elections, which RAU then analyzed.

Besides revealing that the voter roll has more than a million people who are either deceased or have left Zimbabwe, RAU said there is a marked registration bias in favor of rural constituencies, which are mainly strongholds of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Jeremiah Bamu of the advocacy group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is hopeful RAU will be allowed to present the audit, which also found that 63 constituencies have more registered voters than inhabitants based on the 2012 census.

“We have communicated with lawyers representing the Registrar General’s office and alerted them that their application is based on something that is not correct. We supplied them with correct information," said Bamu. "What might have influenced the Registrar General to block this presentation."

"The usual fears that they have that people have access to the voters roll and can identify some inconsistencies,” he said.

The lawyer added that the case would spill into court if the government does not allow RAU to make public its audit of Zimbabwe voters’ roll.

MDC makes court challenge

Already, the Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] party of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is in court challenging special early voting of Zimbabwe’s police and security forces.   

The voting this week went on three days, one more than the constitutionally-mandated limit of two.

The MDC also is arguing that the electoral commission inflated the number of security agents in order to rig the elections for Mugabe and his party. The case will continue Thursday at Zimbabwe’s high court where the MDC is seeking to have these early votes nullified.   

Even before this controversy, the elections appeared beset by trouble. Last week, Finance Minister Tendai Biti warned that Zimbabwe was about $90 million short in election funding.

The elections, if they go through, are expected to end the power-sharing government formed by Mugabe and Tsvangirai after the violent and disputed 2008 elections.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid