Civil society has called on the clear dissemination of voter information and the voting process for it is necessary to improve accountability and avoid corruption since the 2018 elections are approaching.
Speaking at an Electoral Integrity meeting, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) climate, finance governance co-ordinator Frank Mapahle said voter education and dissemination of information are critical elements in building voter’s confidence. “There is need for people to know the critical information for all the biometric voter registration (BVR) process and the voting process. The BVR is a newly introduced technology and people should have confidence in the integrity of the registration process to the voting process,” said Mapahle . He added that information that voter registering is electronically, and the voting process is manually has not been circulated well to people . “As it is now it is not clear for most people. There should not be suspicions surrounding voter registration and the voting process as well,” he said . He added that several bodies should be involved to deal with all these disparities taking places. “There should be bodies that can be approached when issues arise concerning accountability and corruption like Zimbabwe anti-corruption commission (ZACC), TIZ, ZimRights, and Election resources centre(ERC). Information among citizens is key towards electoral integrity, “he said.
Mildred Muzanechita of Gimboki South said “Absence of reliable information especially on collection of voter registration serial numbers from some government officials and chiefs has caused unrest among many eligible voters,”. She cited that the issue with voter registration slip serial numbers is something bigger. “As of now no one knows the original reason for the collection of serial numbers,” said Muzanechita.
Nyaradzo Chiadzwa of Marange village said, “From our community we were told to bring serial numbers to collect rice which was being allocated 5 kg per person. And we were told that we had already voted for the 2018 elections and we had voted for Zanu Pf party,”.
Cases of people being asked for registration slips have been reported in many districts in Manicaland Province with some traditional leaders calling for meetings where one has to bring the registration slip.ZEC however announced it is illegal for any person to demand voter registration slips and anyone forced to should make a report.