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Zanu PF Activists, Councillors 'Intimidating' Zimbabweans Registering in BVR Voters' Roll

Zimbabwe Electoral commission registering people in the four-month biometric registration exercise for 2018 elections (S. Mhofu/Sept. 2017)

Some Zanu PF activists in various provinces are allegedly intimidating villagers registering in Zimbabwe’s new voters’ roll by demanding serial numbers of voters’ slips while indicating that Biometric Voter Registration kits are capable to showing people’s voting patterns.

In its latest national report, Heal Zimbabwe says some people in Manicaland, all Mashonaland provinces and parts of the Midlands are also being threatened with stern action if they refuse to submit serial numbers to Zanu PF activists and councillors.

The report reads in part, “ZANU PF member, Edson Chiherenge intimidated community members during a community meeting conducted at Chikova garden on 9 October 2017. He ordered community members to submit serial numbers of their registration slips soon after completing registration to their village heads and ZANU PF cell structures. Chiherenge further highlighted that the BVR process will detect where people would have voted for.”

The same happened in Ward 13, 24 and 36 in Gokwe North where people were being allegedly intimidated by councilllors.

In Ward 36, according to Heal Zimbabwe, Councillor Charles Mapishu allegedly intimidated village heads during a meeting conducted at Mhumha Primary School.

“Councillor Mapishu instructed village heads to ensure that they collect serial numbers of registration slips from community members who would have registered to vote. He further highlighted that the BVR machines will detect and disclose candidates whom people would have vote for.”

Zimbabwe voter registration 2018 election.
Zimbabwe voter registration 2018 election.

The same happened in Ward 13 where a Zanu PF member, Kanongovere Hofisi, allegedly ordered community members to submit serial numbers of their registration slips to him immediately after registration.

“Kanongovere also informed community members that the BVR kits also allows ZANU PF to detect candidates that people will vote for on the day of the election.”

People have faced the same problem in Mutoko, Mudzi, Guruve South, Mbire, Muzarabani, Chipinge, Chimanimani, Chivi and other areas in some provinces where opposition supporters are being denied proof of residence slips or charged up to 60 cents by councilors for letters they need to submit to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as proof of residence.

Heal Zimbabwe says in Ward 28 in Mutoko South, councilor Jerry Masendeke “charged community members $0.60 each to authorize their proof of residence. This took place in Nyamuzizi Resettlement area on the 11thof October 2017.”

The same happened in Ward One in Mudzi where village heads Mukombwe and Mbwadzi refused to issue proof of residence letters to opposition supporters at Nyamapanda Primary School.

In Guruve South’s Ward 7 in Mashonaland Central province, a Zanu PF member allegedly instructed village heads at a meeting in Gweshe village to deny food to local people who refuse to submit serial numbers of their voting slips to the ruling party.

Zimbabwe voter registration 2018 election ...
Zimbabwe voter registration 2018 election ...

Heal Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organization, further noted that in Muzarabani’s Ward 8, villagers were asked to register in groups to make it easy to identify those that would vote for the opposition.

“On the 12th of October 2017, ZANU PF District Chairman, Denshot Mazarura instructed Village heads who were registering at Cargill Zimbabwe offices in Muzarabani to ensure that people register in groups. Mazarura further highlighted that the BVR machines will detect voting patterns and disclose candidates who community members would have voted for.”

Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo was not available for comment.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is currently registering people in the country’s new voters’ roll using Biometric Voter Registration kits designed to fish out ghost voters.

ZEC says it will register seven million people when the exercise ends in January next year, a few months before the country holds a crucial general election.

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