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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Compiles New Voters' Roll

FILE: Zimbabwean election officials count ballot papers after the close of voting on a referendum in Harare, March 16, 2013.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is setting up a new biometrics voters’ roll, which is expected to be in place by May next year and ready for the crucial 2018 general elections in which 92-year old President Robert Mugabe is the sole candidate for the ruling Zanu PF party.

According to ZEC mapping has already started for the new voters’ roll and all Zimbabweans are expected to register to vote in any national election starting next year.

ZEC chairperson, Rita Makarau, is quoted by the state-controlled Herald newspaper saying the new voters’ roll won’t have anything to do with previous voters’ registers, which were once described by some opposition political parties as a fraudulent data base full of deceased and non-existent voters.

Makarau said, “ … The new voters’ roll captures our biometrics and is going to be very different to the old voters’ roll. If you registered for 2013, but don’t register for 2018, your picture will not be able to appear on the voters’ roll, and your name will actually not be on the voters’ roll, which is going to be polling station specific.

Members of the public, civic society organizations and other stakeholders have over the years criticized the electoral process in Zimbabwe saying the voters’ roll is skewed in favor of the ruling party.

Some opposition parties have complained that the register is not normally made available to them by ZEC.