Horror as ‘dead voter’ inspects roll

A Chinhoyi man got the shock of his life when he was told that he died last year after he tried to check if his registration details were captured properly during the biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise that began last year.

By NUNURAI JENA

Emmanuel Chateka was told by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials last week that the elections body received information from the Registrar-General’s office that he died soon after registering to vote in the forthcoming elections.

Chateka said at first he thought it was just a mistake that could be easily rectified.

But he was referred to the RG’s office in Chinhoyi to verify why he appeared on the exclusion list.

“It was devastating to be told that I’m a dead man walking,” he said.

“I was told to go and rectify the mistake with the registrar-general, which is taking most of my time when I should be fending for my family.”

ZEC’s Mashonaland West boss Austin Ndlovu confirmed Chateka’s case, but said the RG’s office was the only department that was competent enough to deal with the issue.

“Yes, we received such a case and we have since advised the concerned person to go and rectify the issue at the Registrar-General’s office before coming back to register again,” he said.

Investigations revealed that Chateka’s case was not an isolated one.

Some registered voters in Mashonaland West have reportedly been told that they were dead when they tried to check their details on the provisional voters’ roll prepared by ZEC.

They have been told to go to the RG’s office to confirm their existence.

The issue of dead people appearing on the voters’ roll has been a constant cause of friction between the RG’s office and opposition parties, which have always accused the ruling party of vote-rigging.

During past elections the name of former Rhodesian leader Ian Douglas Smith was on the voters’ roll prompting opposition parties and independent electoral bodies to force government to embark on the creation of a new voters’ roll.

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