NGOs meddling in voter registration

Staff Reporter

The unholy meddling of some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the internal electoral processes of the country has been exposed with reports saying that these organisations were paying people to register to vote for the opposition in the 2023 harmonised elections.

The NGOs interference in the voter registration processes has been confirmed and exposed yesterday by the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Justice Priscilla Chigumba who said that NGOs and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were dishing out some cash to motivate people to register to vote.

“I will say this without fear. There were a lot of people who were given incentives to register to vote and those people did not disclose to the NGOs and CSOs that they were already registered to vote in order to access the incentives.

“I’m not implying but saying this directly because they were then flagged by our system to say there is a person with one set of fingerprints who registered six times to vote, but they were already on the voters roll,” said Justice Chigumba.

Political analyst, Terrence Chipwanya, said NGOs and CSOs were continuously meddling in the internal electoral processes of the country which was outside their mandate. Chipwanya urged the Government to descend heavily on NGOs that have become political and cancel their operating licenses.

“NGOs and CSOs have no business in voter registration. They should stick to their mandates and not interfere with the electoral processes of the country. I urge relevant Government authorities to descend heavily on these rogue NGOs and cancel their licenses as they were now operating outside their mandate,” said Chipwanya.

Chipwanya further said that the meddling of NGOs in the internal electoral processes of the country was worrisome considering that the same NGOs have a history of being foot soldiers of the opposition.

Meanwhile, ZEC has advised citizens that it was going to launch a voter registration programme next month ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.