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Registrar-General Blocks NGO's Attempt to Scrutinize Voters Roll

Registrar of voters Tobaiwa Mudede on Wednesday blocked a local civil society organization, Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU), from launching a detailed analysis of the 2013 voters’ roll at an event expected to be attended by election observers, already in the country for the July 31 poll.

Mr. Mudede approached the High Court and was granted an interdict stopping the launch which was scheduled to take place at a local hotel.

Police officers were deployed at the hotel two hours before the launch forcing the RAU to cancel the launch.

RAU director Kudakwashe Chitsike said her organisation never intended to launch the voters’ roll but an analysis of the register.

She said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was aware of the audit of the voters’ roll by her organization and had acknowledged receiving the RAU preliminary report released June 5.

Attorney Jeremiah Bamu of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, representing RAU, has since written to Mr. Mudede’s lawyers asking them to withdraw their case alleging it was premised on wrong information.

He said if they do not do so, RAU will file opposing papers so the matter can be heard urgently.

The report which RAU wanted to launch shows a number of irregularities on the 2013 elections voters’ roll.

The audit shows about 2 million potential voters aged below 30 are not registered voters and that about a 1,000 000 people on the register are deceased.

Chitsike said the audit also shows that 63 areas have more registered voters than inhabitants.