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250 000 ‘ghosts’ on Zimbabwe’s voter roll

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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has reportedly released a register of voters with over 250 000 ghost voters on its final biometric voters’ roll (BVR).

The alleged scam, according to the experts who have been analysing the data released by the poll management body, is feared to have involved the highly-discredited Registrar-General’s Office.

An independent team of BVR, electoral administration, human rights and data science experts who sifted through the roll claimed that they unearthed several discrepancies, indicating that over 250 000 ghost voters were on the roll.

The alleged shortcomings also expose a fatal failure by the AFIS software used by Zec for reduplication.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Priscilla Chigumba yesterday dismissed the findings as “fictitious”.

“Several techniques were used to sift/dig through all the 5 683 936 records in the voters’ roll. The key goal is to establish the level of credibility that could be ascribed to the voters roll,” the BVR experts said in a report.

“One of the key concerns that have emerged is the existence of both double registrants and the high possibility of ghost voters in the roll.

Both scenarios were, ordinarily, not expected given that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission used the most sophisticated BVR system to capture voters data.

At the time of writing, the number of red-flagged entries basing on all techniques used stood at 250 000,” read part of the findings.

The high number of irregularities unearthed showed duplication of identity numbers with different names, or slight changes to spellings, similar ID numbers and in some instances, the same person registered at different polling stations in the same constituency.

According to the experts, given that the system used by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission does not allow for duplication of identity numbers, the Registrar-General’s involvement could have been sought to deal with this issue alone.

“The next 6/7 digits are a unique serial digit generated for each registrant at the district ID registration centre.

These are then followed by a check letter which can be any of the 23 alphabetic letters, except for IO and U, based on the MOD23 calculation mechanism.

The last part is simply the district code of one’s ethnic home and is not at all used in the MOD23 checking mechanism, making it impervious to duplications,” the report read in part.

They added that the easiest to detect were individuals with the same credentials, different address, different polling station, but geographically close constituencies.

The report cited the case of one Chikondowa Varaidzo (07-143353-N07), who registered to vote at Mutare Junior School, Mutasa South in Manicaland, but also appeared as Chikondowa Varaidzo (07-143353-N07) registered to vote at Chirovakamwe A Primary School Dangamvura/Chikanga, Mutare, Manicaland.

“The above scenario is a serious threat to (the) electoral process because the elections shall be polling-station based, and any person registered on two different polling stations will be able to vote twice,” the report read.

In another scenario one Gondo Miria 04-036321-E21, (of) Madzivanyika Village, Masvingo, registered to vote at Chikuku Primary School but also registered as Gondo Miria with a slightly different ID number at the end (04-036321-E04) to vote at Boora Primary School in Bikita, Masvingo.

NewsDay

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NEWS

Pupurai Togarepi, Lewis Matutu and Godfrey Tsenengamu booted out

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Lewis Matutu

The Zanu PF Politburo yesterday removed secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Pupurai Togarepi from the post and suspended his deputy Cde Lewis Matutu and secretary for the Commissariat Cde Godfrey Tsenengamu for a year for indiscipline.

Cde Togarepi will, however, remain a Central Committee member, while Cdes Matutu and Tsenengamu will revert to being ordinary card-carrying members.

Cdes Matutu and Tsenengamu will be required to undergo rigorous training at the Chitepo School of Ideology for three months.

The Youth League secretary for Administration Cde Tendai Chirau becomes the wing’s acting deputy secretary.

Acting secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the Politburo unanimously decided that indiscipline within the party should not be tolerated.

He said: “Cde Togarepi, who was serving as the secretary for Youth League at the pleasure of the First Secretary of the party, President E.D. Mnangagwa, will with immediate effect, cease to be the secretary of the Youth League.

“As such, he is no longer a member of the Politburo, but he retains his position as Central Committee member, as you all know, he serves in the Politburo at the pleasure of the President of our party and in this case, Cde Togarepi has been relieved from this position.

“Cde Matutu and Cde Tsenengamu have been immediately removed from their positions as deputy secretary for Youth League and Political Commissar, respectively, and this will be for a period of 12 months.

“This means they will be ordinary card-carrying members of the party and after 12 months, they will be eligible to stand in any elections to any position within the party.”

Cde Patrick Chinamasa told journalists after the 336th Ordinary Session of the Politburo yesterday, the first meeting in 2020, that the Politburo discussed at length issues around a Press conference held by Cdes Matutu and Tsenengamu, purportedly in their personal capacities.

During the briefing, the pair accused three prominent businessmen of corruption but did not give incontrovertible evidence implicating the trio.

“The Politburo took note of this irregular modus operandi which is alien to the party’s way of doing its business,” said Cde Chinamasa.

“It is also important to highlight that previously it happened and the Politburo deliberated and specifically gave a directive that the youth if they have any problems which are of significance to them, they should raise them in a proper forum.”

Cde Chinamasa said Zanu PF did not tolerate corruption in whatever form, by whomsoever.

He said anyone with information implicating anyone in corruption should approach the police so that the law takes its course.

“It is important, of course, to say and emphasise that the party does not condone corruption and as you are well aware, that it has set up structures both within the party and at Government level of which these can be approached,” said Cde Chinamasa.

“We basically invite and encourage our general membership that if they are witnesses and have evidence of any corruption against whomsoever, to raise these issues with the relevant authorities, in this case, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and where they think it’s pertaining to senior party members, they should bring them to the party.

“Unfortunately, there has not been any evidence that has been brought to ZACC pertaining to any previous allegations and I am sure that even now, we will probably find out that the claims or allegations are unsubstantiated.

“So, in light of these developments, we felt that the departure from the violation of the directive the Politburo called for, was an act of indiscipline and that it called for severe punishment.”
The Herald

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NEWS

Marry Chiwenga Kicked Out Of Borrowdale Mansion Again

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Marry Chiwenga

Marry Mubaiwa has been given marching orders from the Borrowdale Mansion she stayed with him as they battled out their divorce.

The order came from the judge after the High Court varied Marry Mubaiwa’s bail conditions.

She was ordered to surrender her second passport and reside at her mother’s house.

Justice Kwenda said that after finding that it is undesirable for her to return to the matrimonial home with Vice President Chiwenga, her accuser.
Marry Chiwenga was recently thrown back behind bars after having her fresh lease of freedom.

She was arrested again and is facing charges of assaulting the housemaid Delight Munyoro, who had accompanied the couple’s minor children to Hellenic School in Borrowdale.

Marry Mubaiwa accused Munyoro of manipulating her two kids from her previous marriages against the children she shares with Chiwenga.

According to Marry Mubaiwa, Munyoro tried to sow discord between the kids by telling Marry and Chiwenga’s children to shun the other two from her previous marriages which resulted in a heated confrontation between Marry and Munyoro.

Munyoro claimed Marry Mubaiwa physically attacked her during the fight.

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NEWS

Mugabe buried in a tamper-proof casket

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Robert Mugabe Burial

Robert Mugabe was buried in a tamper-proof casket because he feared that people would “use my body”, according to his family.

He was buried at Kutama village, his rural home village, on Saturday, near his mother, instead of the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

Mugabe’s nephew and family spokesperson, Leo Mugabe, told Zimpapers Television Network that “he wanted to be buried next to his mother but there is no space there” so the family elected to bury him, at a private ceremony, in the same village as his mother.

Asked about the speculation around the family changing his casket, Leo said: “Originally, why we changed is because we wanted a tamper-proof casket because you know, with rituals and things like that, people are really after his body, body parts, so we wanted something that was tamper-proof. That is why the casket was changed in the first place.”

He said it was Mugabe’s idea in the first place.

He explained that Mugabe had previously expressed concern about what would happen to his body after death.

“He said to his wife … ‘If and when I’m gone, don’t leave my body. Be careful, people want to use my body.’ It was him who said it to the former first lady.

“We knew that spiritually he probably knows something,” said Leo.

The family kept the body at home the night before he was buried in keeping with his wishes.

AFP reported that family members threw white roses into the grave as the coffin, draped in navy blue velvet, was lowered to its final resting place in the courtyard of his rural home, about 90 kilometres from Harare.

A boys choir from Mugabe’s old high school sang in the background.TimesLive

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