PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party
has reportedly set in motion an elaborate
plot to influence the structure of the 2018
national voters’ roll and eventually rig the
polls, NewsDay has learnt.
Impeccable Zanu PF sources told NewsDay
that a detailed report of the alleged plot was
presented to the politburo two weeks ago by
the party’s political commissar, Saviour
Kasukuwere, and secretary for science and
technology, Jonathan Moyo, leading to its
adoption.
But both Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) denied the claims
yesterday.
“Kasukuwere and Moyo presented a plan that
will see Zanu PF go on a massive membership
registration exercise to create an electronic
database,” a source revealed.
“This database will then be used as a
template for the national voters’ roll that is
to be used in the 2018 elections. The
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will structure
its roll around the party’s membership
register. The politburo agreed to this and
that is why the President was happy with
Kasukuwere.”
Addressing journalists after the politburo
meeting two weeks ago, Zanu PF secretary
for administration Ignatius Chombo said:
“The commissariat department and the
department of science and technology headed
by Jonathan Moyo gave a presentation on an
electronic cards system. This will keep the
party abreast with the new technology and
changes in ICT.”
According to sources, Zanu PF was planning
to urge Zec to adopt its electronic
membership register as a template on which
the national voters’ roll would be built.
Chombo yesterday could neither confirm nor
deny the alleged plot.
“Sorry, I can’t talk right now,” that was all
he said when NewsDay called him for
clarification. But, Kasukuwere scoffed at
the allegations, saying: “Is Zanu PF Zec?”
Moyo could not be reached for comment, but
was quoted a few weeks ago saying: “Zanu
PF would not reform itself out of power”, in
response to calls for comprehensive electoral
reforms from opposition parties.
Opposition parties have in the past
consistently accused Zanu PF of manipulating
the Zec secretariat by staffing it with State
security agents to facilitate poll-rigging.
Mugabe’s legitimacy remains a bone of
contention after his main rival, MDC-T
leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has on three
occasions claimed being denied victory
through massive electoral fraud.
In the 2013 presidential elections, Tsvangirai
claimed Mugabe and Zec hired a shadowy
Israeli firm, known as Nikuv Projects, to
manipulate election results in favour of the
Zanu PF leader.
Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau
yesterday also rejected claims that her
organisation would use the Zanu PF
membership register as a template for
compiling the 2018 voters’ roll.
“The electronic voters’ roll will be available
before the 2018 elections and we have made a
decision that we will be using the biometric
voting system,” she said.
“There is no way a political party’s database
will be used by Zec. Our voters’ roll will be
independent of any political party
interference and influence.
“We have not even procured our voting kits
and when we call people to register, it will
not be members of political parties, but all
citizens from whom we will only require their
identity cards and proof of residence.
“We do not even know what kind of system
they (Zanu PF) have or whether it will be
identical to ours. It is not true that we will
use the Zanu PF database and there is no
way that can happen.”
Makarau said Zec would be making a
comprehensive announcement on the issue
soon, but added the commission was still to
mobilise the required resources to procure
the biometric voting kits.
“We are still looking for funds, but we are
getting the major chunk of the funding from
the UNDP (United Nations Development
Programme), while the balance should be
found locally,” she said.
Zimbabwe remains on the edge as opposition
parties push for electoral reforms, with
Zec’s impartiality or lack of it being one of
the biggest sticking points.