Zanu PF tinkering with Mash East voters' roll: MDC

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has alleged that Zanu PF in Mashonaland East Province is secretly removing known MDC supporters from the voters’ roll ahead of watershed general elections this year.

The MDC alleges President Robert Mugabe’s party has acquired the voters’ rolls for all the constituencies in the province to strike off names of their rivals.

Tichaona Gomo, MDC councillor for ward 11, alleges that Zanu PF is rolling out a strategy to have his party supporters struck off the voters’ roll.

“Youth officers attend these village meetings and identify our supporters on the voters’ roll and remove them,” Gomba told the Daily News.

“They will then register theirs and take the roll back to the office where the registration will be formalised because they have connections there.

“When our supporters go to inspect the voters’ roll, they then realise that they don’t appear despite the fact that some of them only registered last year.”

The Daily News could not independently verify these claims.

But a village head from the same ward who spoke to the Daily News said she was asked to mobilise her people at a nearby crèche last week where “people from the offices read out the voters’ roll and registered those whose names did not appear.”

Mudzi North Zanu PF MP, Milton Kachepa confirmed that he was registering voters in villages and that he had bought voters’ rolls for the whole province from the Registrar General’s office for $15 each district.

Despite the fact that only the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is tasked with registering voters in accordance with the Electoral Act, Kachepa confirmed his party was mobilising voters.

“It is true that we are registering voters throughout the province because people are not registered to vote,” he said.

“We are registering everyone including MDC supporters without intimidating them.

“We brought the voters’ rolls we are using at the Registrar General’s office at $15 each and if there is any village head who is intimidating anyone, he is being overzealous,” Kachepa said, insisting that the he was not violating the Electoral Act as the process was not partisan.

Meanwhile, ugly scenes of political violence have been recorded in the constituency following the stoning of MDC women’s assembly district vice secretary for Mudzi North, Chipo Nyakatembo’s house.

Nyakatembo, who is a widow, alleges that some youth officers (names supplied) attacked her house on the night of March 20, and she reported the matter at Kotwa Police Station under RRB number 10774401.

Mashonaland East police spokesperson, Bulisani Bhebhe said he had not yet received the report as he was in Bulawayo on a tour of duty.

MDC provincial chairperson for Mashonaland East, Piniel Denga described the Zanu PF antics as “a sign of desperation by a party facing electoral defeat.”

“It is desperation at its zenith by a party whose days are numbered,” Denga said.

“We have been to Mudzi and we are aware of their moves but we get worried when they begin to use violence again. Zanu PF has no respect for the electorate  but the people of Zimbabwe will punish them at the ballot.” - Mugove Tafirenyika

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