The Commissioner of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Joyce Kazembe, answered important questions about elections in an interview with Radio Zimbabwe Presenter, Sifelani Chikwape recently.
Spiked Online Media reproduces part of the interview excerpts below:
1.What is the purpose of the voter registration certificate or slip issued to a registrant?
The voter registration certificate erroneously referred to as a slip issued after registration is a legal document to confirm that one has registered as a voter. On voting day one has to present their ID or valid passport. The voter registration certificate is not required.
2.Why does ZEC collect a registrant’s personal details during voter registration?
The personal data collected at voter registration centres is for the purpose of compiling a voters` roll only. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) would like to assure members of the public that this information will not be used for any other purpose save for enrolment on the voters’ roll.
The Commission would like to assure the public that the secrecy of the ballot is guaranteed despite one having submitted their personal details during voter registration.
3. Why does the voter registration certificate have a serial number and a barcode?
The serial number and the barcode on the voter registration certificate are only unique security identifiers used by the Commission to internally validate the registrant’s registration.
4. What is your comment on allegations of people forcibly taking voter registration certificates from registrants including details such as their serial numbers?
The Commission has received reports that there are individuals forcibly demanding voter registration certificates or their details such as serial numbers from registrants. This action is tantamount to intimidation and an offense in terms of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13]. The Commission urges those engaged in such a practice to desist from these illegal acts.
It should be noted that the voter registration certificate will not be used on polling day. Details on the certificate will not be used to trace how one would have voted on polling day.
5. Has the Commission issued a statement on WhatsApp social media platform condemning people taking registrants’ details?
ZEC categorically denies originating notices on the collection of serial numbers of voter registration certificates circulating on WhatsApp purportedly generated by it. The Commission is concerned about these messages and urges those involved to desist from such malpractices. Such action constitutes impersonation and offenders may be liable to prosecution.
An official signed press statement has been issued in the main stream media and not on WhatsApp platform condemning acts of intimidation and harassment as well as warning people to desist from writing on behalf of the Commission.
QUESTIONS FROM LISTENERS
1. When will the inspection of the voters’ roll commence?
The voters’ roll inspection will only be conducted after compilation of the provisional voters’ roll. This process of voters’ roll compilation should have commenced after the mop up voter registration exercise which was supposed to end on 8 February 2018.
ZEC will consolidate and clean the data coming from the registration centres before producing the provisional voters’ roll. The Provisional voters’ roll will then be subjected to inspection by the public during a period to be advised.
During the inspection phase, registrants will be able to check the correctness of captured details and even transfer their allocated polling stations. The inspection period will also afford the electorate an opportunity to ascertain the location of allocated polling stations.