Zim voters’ roll ‘100 per cent perfect’

2011-06-18 09:18

Harare – There was no other country in the world with a voters’ roll that was “as 100 percent perfect” as Zimbabwe’s, the country’s registrar-general has said.

Tobaiwa Mude-de said Zimbabwe’s electoral register had “nominal percentage error margins” and said his office was happy to allow critics to inspect the roll, the state-run Herald newspaper reported today.

Critics have accused President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party of manipulating the list for political advantage and say it includes children and people who have long since died.

A report published earlier this month by the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) said there are 41 119 centenarians registered to vote in the country.

There were officially four times as many centenarians in Zimbabwe as in Britain, the report, titled Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe said, despite the European nation enjoying a much higher life expectancy than its former colony.

Zimbabwe’s average life expectancy is 34 for women and 37 for men, according to the World Health Organisation.

“You don’t want these people to attain 100 years, you don’t want them to be alive?” Mude-de said. “The law does not say once one attains 100 years he/she should be removed.

“It is their right to vote unless they come to say they want to be removed. We will, however, still advise them that it is their right to vote,” he said.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, whose Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is in a power-sharing government with Zanu-PF, has insisted on a fresh voters’ roll before the next elections.

“I am not sure why he would want to defend such a shameful document,” said MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.

“No one serious person will spend a second defending it. How can you allow ghosts to be on a voters’ roll?” he said.

“As a party, we have no issues with the voters’ roll,” Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said. “We can win an election with it or after it has been re-done.”

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