ELECTIONS 2023: CCC sounds alarm over voter’s roll

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of giving Zanu PF access to the voter’s roll while other political parties are denied that service.

Speaking at a recent press conference, CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said it was questionable that the ruling party seemed to have access to voter’s information including mobile numbers.

“Obviously in terms of our constitution, the voter’s roll should be accessed by every single political party, in fact, every citizen who is able to pay the fee should obtain a copy of that voter’s roll. What we have seen since the voter registration process is that it would appear that Zanu-PF has a copy of this voter’s roll. Why do we say this, you saw all the WhatsApp messages or the SMS messages that everyone was receiving which was allegedly from a Mr ED Mnangangwa saying please join this WhatsApp group that belongs to Zanu-PF,” said Mahere.

She said what is interesting about the unsolicited WhatsApp messages sent to registered voters is that they correlate with the new boundaries and not the old ones.

“So, it’s obvious that there were two issues, voters roll doesn’t disclose people’s phone numbers, the question that we ask ZEC is how did Zanu-Pf obtain each and every citizen’s phone number. That information is in ZEC’s database, does Zanu-Pf have access to that database, thus the question that we are asking in terms of the Law.

More fundamentally than that, if Mr Mnangagwa is able to send those messages it means he has got some information that we don’t have cause certainly we don’t have the kind of information that would allow us to establish who is registered and which constituency and also the polling areas and polling stations,” said Mahere.

Mahere urged ZEC to level the electoral field and ensure that the polls are free, fair and credible.

“You can’t give one party the voters roll and then deny to another, you can’t disclose people’s phone numbers, the private data to one political party and obviously abuse that information for political purposes, this is why we continue to say that ZEC has a constitutional obligation to be independent, to be non-partisan, they cannot take ZANU-PF side.”

Activists threatened legal action arguing that the text messages sent to registered voters are a possible breach of the Cyber and Data Protection Act which governs the use of biographical and biometric data.

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