The Election Resource Center (ERC) has given the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) a 7-day ultimatum to furnish it with an electronic copy of Delimitation voters’ roll, which it will use during 2023 general elections.

ERC was left aggrieved after ZEC refused to give it an electronic copy of delimitation voters’ roll.

Dr Tarisai Mutangi of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights asked ZEC to respond to ERC’s letter within 7 days or face legal action.

ZEC had also declined to provide ERC with an electronic copy of the national voters’ roll on the basis that the elections management body is in the process of enhancing the security of the of electronic voters’ roll & did not provide an indication as to when its process will be finalised.

The human rights lawyer insisted that once the national voters’ roll is available in hard copy so should be the electronic one as both are provided for in a unitary provision, namely, section 21(4) of the Electoral Act.

Dr Mutangi protested against ZEC’s justification for withholding the electronic voters’ roll saying it borders on irrationality & thus is potentially unconstitutional in view of the provisions of section 68 of the Constitution.

He stated that ERC is highly concerned about the escalating cost of political participation in Zimbabwe as the process of accessing information held by an elections management body should be simple, quick & affordable.

Therefore, Dr Mutangi said, ZEC’s offer to provide the elections watchdog with a hard copy of the national voters’ roll instead of the requested electronic version, which would make electoral processes more transparent, is inconsistent with the principles stated above.

Dr Mutangi said ERC is willing to give dialogue a chance in resolving the
impasse between itself & ZEC, which should lead to finding solutions that permanently resolve problems related to the provision of the voters’ roll as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections & would only resort to instituting litigation processes as a last resort.

Established in January 2010, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) is a non-partisan, think tank and advocacy institution on elections and democracy.