Thursday, 8 February 2018

ZEC : NO GOVT INTERFERENCE

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission yesterday said Government was not interfering with its operations and that the status of the electoral body’s workers is an internal issue.
This comes on the back of private media reports that Government was pushing for the removal of some officials from the electoral body.
Zec deputy chairperson Mr Emmanuel Magade yesterday said the electoral body was independent and impartial as required by the Constitution. “It’s not coming from Government, it is internal,” he said.

“Government is not interfering with our processes at all. Anything and everything that has to do with the status of the workers is entirely between them and the board. Anybody who claims that it is coming from Government is telling a monumental lie, the lie of the century.”

Mr Magade added: “Any issues that may be there between us and any of our workers are entirely and exclusively an internal issue. There has not been and there never was outside interference from any quota. For anybody to allege that there is interference from somewhere is simply untrue and mischievous.”

Unconfirmed reports yesterday indicated that the Zec board had resolved to recall Mrs Constance Chigwamba, the chief elections officer. Mr Magade said: “If there is anything, we will make it public at the appropriate time.”
Mrs Chigwamba, a former permanent secretary, was seconded to Zec in 2015. The developments come as the electoral body yesterday closed the mobile voter registration national blitz ahead of harmonised elections this year. Registration of voters will continue at 63 Zec static centres countrywide, until 12 days after the nomination court sits.

More than 5 236 000 people have registered to vote. Zec had initially targeted to register more than seven million but revised the figure to 5,5 million.

Zec on Monday said it was now preparing for a de-duplication exercise to weed out multiple registrations ahead of the polls.

Weeding out multiple registrants will see the electoral body coming up with a credible voters’ roll.

“We are not taking any chances as we want to ensure we have a voters roll that is clean, credible and of unquestionable integrity,” Mr Magade said.

“After the cleansing exercise, Zec would begin compiling a voters’ roll. It will be open for inspection, leading us to the compilation of a final voters roll.
After that we will then wait for the presidential proclamation on nomination court and date of election.”

Zec now has the constitutional mandate to register voters, taking over the function from the Registrar General’s Office in line with the dictates of the new Constitution adopted in 2013. Herald

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