HARARE – The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, has raised serious allegations against the ruling Zanu PF party and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), claiming collusion in manipulating the voters’ roll ahead of the upcoming August polls.
In a press conference held in Harare on Thursday, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere called for transparency and fairness in the electoral processes.
Mahere expressed concern over widespread WhatsApp and SMS messages that were allegedly sent to citizens, originating from President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF party, urging recipients to join a Zanu PF WhatsApp group.
She pointed out that these messages correlated with the new constituency boundaries, indicating that Zanu PF possessed information that the CCC did not have access to.
Mahere questioned how Zanu PF obtained citizens’ phone numbers, suggesting that the information was obtained from ZEC’s database, raising concerns about the impartiality and integrity of the electoral process.
“What’s interesting about these WhatsApp messages is that they correlate with the new constituency boundaries.
“The voters’ roll doesn’t disclose people’s phone numbers – the question that we ask the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is how did Zanu PF tell each citizen’s phone number? That information is in ZEC’s database.
“Does Zanu PF have access to that database? That’s the question that we are asking in terms of the law,” Mahere emphasised.
The CCC spokesperson accused ZEC of providing the voters’ roll exclusively to the Zanu PF party while denying it to other political players.
Mahere also condemned the alleged disclosure of citizens’ private data for political purposes, describing it as unacceptable.
“We continue to demand from ZEC that this election should not only be free and fair but should also be credible. You cannot hand one party the voters’ roll and deny it to another.
“You can’t disclose people’s phone numbers and their private data to one political party and obviously abuse that for political purposes. This is why we continue to say ZEC has a constitutional obligation to be independent and non-partisan; they cannot take Zanu PF’s side,” Mahere asserted.
Responding to the allegations, ZEC announced that the voters’ roll would be available for inspection over a five-day period, starting from today until Wednesday, May 31.
Interested individuals are required to present identification such as their national ID, a “waiting pass” with their picture, or their passport.
Veritas concur with CCC on reforms
Legal think-tank Veritas clarified that only those registered before April 28 would likely find their names listed on the rolls.
However, it emphasised that citizens who registered after that date would still be able to vote in the upcoming elections, as per section 26A of the Electoral Act.
“As we have said, only those people who were registered on or before the 28th April will find their names listed on the rolls. This does not mean that citizens who become registered after that date will not be able to vote in the harmonized elections.
“According to section 26A of the Electoral Act, voters’ rolls are closed for the purpose of an election two days after the proclamation calling the election is published.
“Anyone who before that date is registered as a voter, or has lodged a claim to be registered, is entitled to have their name put on the roll and to vote in the election,” Veritas stated in a released statement.
The allegations made by the CCC have raised concerns about the integrity and fairness of the upcoming elections.
As Zimbabwe prepares for the August polls, citizens and political players alike are calling for transparency, impartiality, and adherence to constitutional obligations to ensure a free, fair, and credible electoral process.