‘We Won’t Be Releasing Pictures Of Voters To The Public’ Says ZEC
As the political parties gear up for the upcoming July 30th harmonized general elections, printing of the ballot is said to be the sole constitutional prerogative of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
According to reports, any political party which feels aggrieved has the democratic right to approach the African Union and SADC to air their grievances.
Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the electoral body went beyond its constitutional mandate by inviting all political parties to observe the printing of the ballot paper.
“The strict letter of the law is that we have the exclusive constitutional mandate to procure ballot paper, to design it, to print it and to distribute it. The reason why we keep having these disputes around these areas is that the law does not provide that members of the public or stakeholders be involved in this processes. Our law says only Zec can do that. We respect the democratic right of each and every Zimbabwean to approach any fora that they feel will give them the relief that they seek,” she said.
“We will not be releasing pictures of voters to the public and this is because the right to access to information is not absolute. It must be juggled with the right to privacy. The format in which we have released the voters’ roll, and the information that we have given on the voters’ roll is sufficient to fulfill our constitutional mandate that we must provide a final voters roll which is analyzable and which is searchable.
Justice Chigumba concluded by saying that they will investigate cases where reports have been circulating that registered voters have been receiving messages on their mobile phones to vote for a certain political party or individuals.
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