FORMER Rhodesian Prime Minister, the late Ian Douglas Smith, is still on the Zimbabwean voters’ roll, a senior official with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has confirmed.
REPORT BY NUNURAI JENA
Speaking at a Universal Periodic Review Implementation Plan of Action workshop in Kadoma last week, ZEC deputy chief elections Officer (operations), Utoile Silaigwana conceded that the voters’ roll was in a shambles.
“The situation is really confusing as a known high profile people like former Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Smith is still on the voters’ roll,” said Silaigwana.
Smith died in 2007. There were two elections, parliamentary and presidential the following year.
Participants at the workshop said if a high-profile person like Smith could be on the voters’ roll years after his death, then there could be thousands of ghost voters on the roll.
Efforts to independently verify that Smith was still on the voters’ roll were fruitless last week. Register General Tobaiwa Mudede could not be reached for comment.
However, Zimbabwe ambassador to Senegal, Trudy Stevenson, who has been following the issue of ghost voters in the voters’ roll for a long time, said that Smith’s name featured on the voters’s roll.
“He certainly was on the roll in 2008, so was Lardner Burke! I got interviewed over that, and got photos of those pages,” said Stevenson.
The late Burke was the Minister for Law and Order and Justice who ordered President Robert Mugabe’s detention in 1963. He died in 1984 in South Africa.
The state of the voters’ roll has been a source of friction between Zanu PF and the MDC formations who accuse the former ruling party of taking advantage of the shambolic nature of the roll in order to rig elections. Zanu PF denies the charges.