THE biometric voters’ roll (BVR) for Mutoko North by-election has exposed serious irregularities by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in the contested 2013 general elections which former President Robert Mugabe won over the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
According to a Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) audit of the recent voters’ roll, more than 16 000 names of people who voted in 2013 were not on the 2018 voters’ roll.
“When compared with the 2013 provisional voters’ roll (PVR) for Mutoko North out of the 29 643 persons registered in 2013, only 13 538 registered voters remain in the roll, while the number of registered voters also dropped to 23 295,” Zesn said.
Opposition political parties have always argued that ghost voters have been the trump card for Zanu PF in rural areas, accusing the then Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede of fiddling with the voters’ roll to disenfranchise the opposition.
Zesn’s audit of the two voters’ rolls found that the BVR exercise had flushed out ghost voters with particular reference to 119 cases in 2013 in which people sharing identical names, dates of birth and identification numbers had voted as different people.
“The 2013 voters’ roll for Mutoko North had 119 cases of persons sharing both names, dates of birth, gender and polling station. The full voters’ roll released before the 2018 election has none but the latest roll has introduced a duplicate record,” Zesn said.
The electoral watchdog raised concerns after noting that the current voters’ roll has 10 people who were over 100 years old.
“The oldest registrant provided the year of birth as 1908 … the 2018 full voters’ roll for Mutoko North, has 10 (0, 04%) registrants who are above 100 years,” Zesn said.
In 2013, Mutoko North had 400 registered voters who were above 100 years old.
The Mutoko North by-election will be held on Saturday following the elevation of incumbent, Mabel Chinomona to Senate President. Zanu PF Mutoko chairperson Rambidzai Nyabote will square off with MDC Alliance’s Bornface Mushore and NCA’s Edson Mugoma in the poll