The number of centenarians on Zimbabwe’s voters’ roll is four times the total number of people older than 100 years in Britian.
This is highligted in a report, published by the Institute for Security Studies, which was handed to South African and Zimbabwean officials yesterday.
The report, entitled Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe, is based on the latest version of the voter’s roll (as of October 2010). It reveals that there are no less than 41 119 centenarians on it.
This is an impossible figure, the report states.
“The UK, with a total population of over 60 million and an average life expectancy of more than 30 years longer than Zimbabwe’s, has only 10 000 centenarians.”
The data shows that 19 626 of these centenarians are women, while 437 are of “uncertain gender” and 21 056 are men.
According to the American Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book, Zimbabwe has a population of just over 12 million with the average life expectancy for men and women estimated at only 49 years of age.
According to researcher and writer Bill Johnson, these figures are “absurd” as women in Zimbabwe, as elsewhere in the world, have a longer life expectancy.
If these facts are a true reflection of the voter’s roll in Zimbabwe, “then there is something seriously wrong and thus with all election results”, says Frans Cronjé, deputy CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations.
“The report raises some serious questions about the legitimacy of electoral processes and voters’ lists in Zimbabwe.”
According to the report, 16 828 registered voters have the same date of birth: January 1 1901.
Johnson says it could be because this date has simply been given as the birth date to all very senior citizens who were in doubt about their age. This shows “an impermissible degree of official intervention in the registration process”.
In President Robert Mugabe’s birthplace, Zvimba, 1 101 of these 110-year-olds have been registered. Johnson speculates that it produces “particularly pleasing results for Zanu-PF there”.
In another constituency in Mount Darwin East, researchers found 118 registered voters were older than 100 years:
» The majority were born on January 1 1901;
» Nine were born on January 1 1905; and
» 25 were born on January 1 1910.
Apart from the centenarians, Zimbabwe’s voter’s roll reflects a large number of under-aged voters – some as young as two years.
“Zimbabwe’s voter’s roll is beyond redemption and cannot even be used as one of the building blocks in the construction of a new and authoritative voters’ roll. It simply has to be scrapped completely,” the report recommends.