By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Just some few days after the launch of a shadowy website registered under the domain name www.myzimvote.com, the Zimbabwe government has come out guns blazing against the initiative and coined it “bogus voters’ roll”
The registrar General, Mr Tobaiwa Mudede has attacked the online voters roll initiative and demonized it for being quasi-political and aligned it to the Movement for Democratic Party (MDC).
In his statement the registrar general said the dubious ‘voters’ roll contained information that was obtained by one Topper Whitehead, a self-proclaimed election analyst, who inspected the voters’ roll on behalf of MDC-T in 2004.
“Apparently, the man behind the website is a person identified as Topper Whitehead who was declared persona non-grata in this country and is currently in South Africa,” he said.
The MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora distanced the party or its members from the project
Although the registrar could have attacked the initiative in principle, the more than 60 thousands unique visits and traffic being generated by such a website should be a cause for concern.
This becomes a message that Zimbabweans now rely so much on technology to lessen pressure on the traditional paper works, an ideal project the government also ought to implement to help registered people inspect the voters roll.
Unfortunately the online voters roll itself has been reported to have flaws with some information not correctly corresponding while some users have posted that they have never registered yet their ID numbers are able to retrieve details of registered voters and constituency.
The Zimbabwean government and the private players could have united to provide such a service online with accountability, accuracy and protection of privacy.
By simply punching in your national registration ID number, the website database then quickly reveals more personal data for the register to confirm personal details, address, constituency etc.
According to the website administrators, their mission is” to provide clear, simple and accurate voter registration information based on the new constitution.”
Interesting;ly they still showed willingness to work with the officials as they referenced ZEC with” For inquires or quesitons you can call the ZEC at:+263 (04) 770340 / 759130 / 774095”
Just food for thought!