• 12 March to 21 March are the final registration days
  • However, ZEC continues to conceal the voters' roll
  • The decision was backed by the high court ruling on Tuesday this week

Harare- The electoral body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), has announced 12 March to 21 March as the final registration days for people to participate in the upcoming harmonised elections. Zimbabwe is one of the SADC countries that is set to elect a new presidential candidate and parliamentarians this year. 

Only eligible voters, who have registered to vote will participate in the general elections. 

However, ZEC has refused to grant the voter’s role copy to the main opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change for now, a decision that was backed by the high court ruling on the 7th of this month on allegations that the opposition party might temper with the voters' roll. 

Access to the voter’s role upon request is a constitutional right. Section 21 (3) of the Electoral Act approves the provision of the voters' roll copy either in printed or in electronic form, upon request and payment of a prescribed fee. As detailed in Statutory Instrument 145 of 2022, voters can access both full or part of the voters’ roll.

A voter’s roll is a sheet that contains the names of all registered voters who may vote in a ward and constituency with their registration numbers and place of residence. 

The voters' roll helps to plan an election and expose any fraud as it tells how many voters to expect in each voting district and constituency. 

People who have died are removed from the voters' roll and this can be inspected when the roll is not concealed. 

According to research conducted by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (http://bitly.ws/BokR), circa one-third of Zimbabwe's registered voters for the 2008 election were dead, and others appeared to be babies or up to 120 years old in a country where life expectancy is scarcely 60 years with more than 500 dead voters given the same birth date January 1, 1901.

Also, there were more than 185,000 cases of the same voters listed in two or more voting constituencies during the 2008 elections. 

In January 2022, ZEC proposed to have removed over 35 000 dead people from the voters' rolls while in February of 2023, it said over 600 more have been removed. 

However, these numbers can only be verified if the voters' roll is submitted. 

This also helps to overcome rigging allegations that the opposition parties ride on when they do not win elections.

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