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Zimbabwe's MDC Party Says 500 'Ghost' Soldiers Voted in 2008 General Election

  • Gibbs Dube

Tongai Matutu, who represents Masvingo Urban constituency for the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, told VOA that an audit showed most of the soldiers who voted do not exist

Parliament is set to debate electoral reforms amid allegations that 500 soldiers, some as old as 122 years according to the records, voted at the headquarters of the Fourth Brigade in Masvingo in the last general election.

Tongai Matutu, who represents Masvingo Urban constituency for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Morgan Tsvangirai, told VOA that an audit showed most of the soldiers who voted do not exist.

He said the audit also showed scores of people, some believed to be deceased, living at the same address. The year of birth of one was 1887, he said.

The general election was narrowly won by the MDC though Tsvangirai failed according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to win an outright victory in the presidential election, forcing a runoff with President Robert Mugabe. But Tsvangirai pulled out of the runoff over widespread electoral violence.

Matutu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that he has called for debate in the House hoping to pass legislation to compile a new voters roll.

“The motion has been moved in parliament and is still on the order paper and we have already agreed with the minister of parliamentary affairs that he will have to respond to the issues raised," Matutu said. "As far as we are concerned the voters roll has people who have migrated, those who have passed away and others below the age of 18 who are not supposed to vote."

Bulawayo-based political analyst Samukele Hadebe said the newly formed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should work to establish a new culture of democracy by organizing free and fair elections.

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