The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has revealed that according to records, 60 percent of the 5.3 million people who have registered to vote are between the ages of 18 and 40.
Justice Chigumba said this when ZEC, the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network and the Election Resource Centre (ERC) appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Because of this, Justice Chigumba said that the 2018 harmonised elections will be a vote of young people.
Justice Chigumba told the committee that ZEC was currently going through the data which it had collected in order to clean it and to remove any duplications. She said that ZEC was not going to hurry to release the new voters roll because it wanted to be thorough. Said Chigumba,
We will not hurry to release the new voters roll. We want to get things done thoroughly and to produce a credible voters rolls. You will have the information in perhaps a month to six weeks.
…We expect all political parties to inspect our voters roll. Our investigations have shown that all political parties are guilty of collecting serial numbers of those who registered to vote.
On the issue of militarization of the elections body, Justice Chigumba said that ZEC was no longer employing anyone from the security services since Treasury introduced a recruitment freeze 5-6 years ago. She said that all people in the employ of ZEC were no longer in the security sector and stressed that ZEC was not precluded from hiring former military personnel who had retired. She said those with military backgrounds only made up at least 15 percent.
Chigumba urged the political parties and their supporters to desist from violence and hate speech in order to guarantee free, fair and credible elections.