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Report: One-third of names on Zimbabwe's voters list are dead

By Andrew Moran     Jan 21, 2011 in Politics
Harare - A report by an independent electoral organization found that nearly one-third of the names of Zimbabwe's voters rolls are dead. Furthermore, more than 2,000 names belong to people who are older than 100 years of age.
Since Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party came into power more than 23 years ago, the political structure has been marred with corruption, violence and controversial social and economic policies.
A new report titled Voters Roll Observation Report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) shows that 27 percent of the voters registered were dead, 2,344 people were born between the years 1901 and 1909, nine voters were born between the years 1890 and 1900 and 93 children were less than a year old. The report further showed that a lawmaker found more 500 dead voters were given the same birth date: Jan. 1, 1901.
However, these figures conflict with the World Bank’s 2008 World Development Indicators that concludes that the average life expectancy of a Zimbabwean is roughly 44.2 years old, which is down from 1988’s peak of 61.
Findings also illustrate that 41 percent of registered voters do not reside at the address listed and that 57 percent of voters “had no knowledge of how to transfer from the voters’ roll.”
The report comes as Pres. Mugabe has vowed that his country will head to the polls to end the two-year power-sharing unity government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that was put in place by the international community and neighboring countries.
The ZESN has made several recommendations to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwean government and political parties to ensure accountability and proper democratic functions:
- “Draw up a new a voters’ roll in Zimbabwe which will go a long way in improving the currency, accuracy and completeness of the voters’ roll. The process should be transparent and inclusive to ensure that all eligible persons are registered.
- “Increase transparency of the voter registration processes such as deletion from the voters’ roll as the process is currently out of public scrutiny and the criteria for deletion is left to the discretion of the Constituency-Registrars.
- "Voter registration must, in its entirety, be integrated into one office of ZEC and ZEC should have total control of voter registration and maintenance of the voters’ roll to ensure greater accountability for its state.
- “Encourage citizens to continually check their registration status.”
More about Zimbabwe election, Dead, Voter list
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