Political analysts have expressed mixed views on the figures of Zimbabweans who inspected the delimitation voters’ roll between July 17 and 26 ahead of crucial 2023 polls.
Statistics recently released by ZEC show that the turnout for the delimitation voters roll inspection was 50,03%, with 2 904 253 voters out of 5 804 497 registered voters confirming their details.
Of these, 789 967 (27,20%) physically visited polling stations to inspect their details and 2 114 286 (72,80%) used the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data service.
ZEC said it received 27 788 (0,96%) requests for corrections on name changes, spelling errors and addresses, among others.
“I think having 50% of registered voters manage to inspect the voters’ roll is relatively good. We can’t say it’s bad or better,” said Vusumuzi Chirwa, a political analyst.
“The figures call for robust voter education on the importance of voter’s roll inspection as much emphasis is put on voter registration than voter’s roll inspection.”
He explained further: “I believe there is also a group of voters who couldn’t inspect their names because of work and economic related issues. There is also a group of voters who aren’t aware of the significance of voter’s roll inspection, they only turn out on the voting day optimistic that their details accurately appear on the voter’s roll.
He was, however, quick to point out that inasmuch Zimbabweans are expectant of next year’s elections, not all of them are interested in them for various reasons like political violence and rigging possibility.
Mkhululi Tshuma, another political analyst said he did not trust the statistics released by ZEC.
“When it comes to ZEC and figures, I always find myself thinking about what agenda is being set,” said Tshuma.
“This is simply because the organisation has shown beyond doubt that whenever it blurts something out about figures, there will always be a nefarious agenda being set. Whether 10% or 90%, the difference is still the same. ZEC is always lying.”
He said while Zimbabweans were keen to experience a change in governance, ZEC has failed to stand up for the constituency that it’s mandated to serve – the electorate. “Zimbabweans are very much looking forward to the 2023 elections,” he said.
“People are pinning all hopes on those (2023) elections. People are encouraging each other to register to vote. It is for this reason that we have seen a heightened increase even in the number of musicians and other celebrities pushing for the youths to register to vote.”
He added: “It will however appear as though the commission mandated with running electoral activities in the country, ZEC is not pleased with this. It is for this reason that its voice has been missing in aiding and supporting such calls. The commission seems happy and elated when it announces lethargic and low numbers of new registrants. The commission has also not presented any action plan to arrest the situation.”
Sipho Nyoni said he believed fewer people inspected the delimitation voters roll contrary to figures released by ZEC.
“I think as usual these are figures that have been concocted by ZEC itself and because of the lack of belief in the Zim electoral system there is generally a lot of apathy at play at the moment with regards voting and elections in general,” said Nyoni.
“I actually believe a much lower figure than that actually even bothered to check the voters’ roll. It tells us that Zimbabweans are tired of the very uneven electoral playground and thus have very little faith if any at all as regards ZEC and how it carries out its mandate.