The voters’ roll for the upcoming general elections in Zimbabwe will be made available to election candidates at the end of June, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said.
This according to the electoral body’s chief elections officer, Utloile Silaigwana when he announced the end of the mop-up voter registration exercise on Friday.
ZEC came under fire from the opposition and independent election watch bodies for the opaque manner in which it has so far run the voter registration and verification exercise.
Thousands of people found their names missing from the voters’ roll upon verifying via mobile phone platforms.
Others noticed their names were moved from the polling stations in which they registered in.
For a country with a history of suspicion of electoral fraud, some saw the glitches as part of structural vote rigging.
Silaigwana said all that would be resolved by 21 June when the nomination court sits.
In March, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator, Allan Markham filed a court application challenging ZEC for access to the electronic voters’ roll.
The courts ruled against him because “it was too risky” and in the interest of data protection.
But that didn’t stop Zanu PF from sending text messages to registered voters urging them to vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The opposition alleged that Zanu PF had access to the voters’ roll which is why it had the capacity to send the messages.
Slaigwana said the voters’ roll will, after the nomination court, which sits on 21 June, be “availed free to prospective candidates.”
ZEC will oversee the general elections against the backdrop of a public spat among its commissioners.
Seven of the nine commissioners wrote to President Mnangagwa in January, expressing their displeasure about the delimitation report, which drew constituency boundaries to be used during elections.
They said the delimitation didn’t “meet the minimum standards expected regarding transparent procedures that strengthen stakeholders’ confidence and dispel potential gerrymandering allegations.”
Only the body’s chairperson Priscilla Chigumba and Slaigwana, stood by the report, which was finally adopted.