Cash crisis forces postponement of voter registration exercise

Joyce Kazembe

ZEC deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe

By Tichaona Sibanda
04 January 2013

The unavailability of funds from the treasury has forced the postponement of the mobile voter registration that was meant to have started on Thursday.

Government through the Ministry of Finance had promised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) $20 million for the exercise.

But ZEC deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe said the delay in disbursing funds from treasury had resulted in the postponement of the exercise.

The Registrar General’s office will carry out this exercise but under the supervision of ZEC. Justice and Legal Affairs deputy Minister Obert Gutu told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that in terms of the law, ZEC has a primary duty and constitutional obligation to register or deregister voters.

‘So when the Registrar General does register voters on the voters roll, he will be doing so under the direction of ZEC or rather he is supposed to be doing so under the direct supervision of ZEC.

‘Whether that is the situation obtaining on the ground I cannot tell because the ideal situation is to have ZEC calling the shots, literally advising and instructing the Registrar General on what to do. I’m not seeing that happening on the ground but I’d like to believe that going forward, we’ll see more activity on the part of ZEC and we’ll see more cooperation from the office of the Registrar General,’ Gutu said

A source in Harare told us that it is not clear when or how the treasury will find the money as it has nothing in its coffers. Our correspondents in Harare and Bulawayo, Simon Muchemwa and Lionel Saungwme, told us there hasn’t been any publicity at all about this voter registration exercise.

‘You would think nothing is happening because there hasn’t been any talk of the registration of voters by ZEC. There has been a stony silence from them but at the same time you hear reports that ZANU PF is busy registering its supporters. Somehow there is no transparency in this exercise,’ Muchemwa said.

Saungweme said in Bulawayo the exercise has been surrounded in controversy. He said it has been easy for ZANU PF supporters to register while those from other parties have found it difficult.

‘You sense there is a deliberate plot to suppress certain voters from registering. People in Bulawayo have found it extremely difficult to register as voters but at the same time ZANU PF is clandestinely registering its people,’ Saungweme said.

6 Responsesto “Cash crisis forces postponement of voter registration exercise”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don`t worry, all those people registering are not ZANU(PF) supporters , they are MDC(T)`s.

  2. Gwaya says:

    I have heard on good authority that this Kazembe is a CIO going way back. If I was MDC I would be verifying the backgrounds of those purportedly hired to count and administer the voting. What difference does it make if the entire country votes MDC but the people counting and administering the vote are zato cios?

    • Yepec says:

      The same news is making the rounds in Harare that Kazembe was recommended by Mudede at the recommendation of the former CIO boss. She was meant to compliment George Chiweshe, the former boss of ZEC.

      • Gwaya says:

        Kazembe was part of the 2000, 2002, 2005 elections. She was also around for the violent, hotly-disputed presidential run-off in 2008. During the last election, she was vice chairperson of ZEC, deputizing Brigadier George Chiweshe, now High Court Judge President. Chiweshe was promoted to the current post after running the sham poll in June 2008.

        It is crucial to note that in two of the Presidential elections, Mugabe was a lone contestant: 1996 and 2008. If you analyse the statements that Kazembe makes listen in particular to her syntax her style of talking- it is classicicaly CIO she talks of journalists being “fed with leads” when interviewed – she is been in the “company” so long she can no longer hide it. Silaigwana is not much better- a ZNA Education Officer who serves concurrently with the ZEC as well as the Army – how is this possible?- The MDC are sleepwalking into another election – they should be demanding reform of the ZEC.

  3. $4 billion has so far been raised by government from shares that big mining firms were forced to give up under the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.

    Perhaps the goverment could take it from the funds stolen here OR from all the other ventures like Marange diamond fields At least $2bn (£1.25bn) worth of diamonds has been stolen . NOW we all know there is plenty more money about so why the lame excuses

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