Chikwinya on bid to register twice
FORMER Member of Parliament for Kwekwe Central (MDC-T), Mr Settlement Chikwinya has said he deliberately tried to register twice under the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise to test the integrity of the new system.
Mr Chikwinya, now a member of People’s Democratic Party fronted by Mr Tendai Biti, recently registered as a voter under the new system in Kwekwe, before he attempted to register again in Kadoma.
Opposition parties were initially against the introduction of BVR in Zimbabwe, but later made a U-turn urging their supporters to register under the new system.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Chikwinya said he was the national elections secretary for his party and his attempts were aimed at testing the new system.
“The nation was shocked as to why I did this, with some still asking why I was not arrested, but I think it is good to explain this,” he said.
“I am the national elections secretary for my party and it’s my duty to make sure that elections are credible and fair. It’s my duty to put this new system under a rigorous test and I had to deliberately try to register twice. It was part of my investigations to test the credibility of the new system. This is not an offence as some would like to think. The offence is committed when I then try to vote twice.”
Mr Chikwinya said he later learnt the system allowed multiple entries during this initial registration exercise, with any possible double entries being cleaned up when the data was captured at provincial level.
“We sit in Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) meetings with the commission chair, Justice Rita Makarau and she later explained that it was possible during this initial stage for one to be registered twice,” he said. “The double entry will then be cleaned up when the data is compiled at provincial level.”
Mr Chikwinya said his party was not against BVR, but wanted the system to reject double entry at all stages.
Zec has rolled out a voter registration blitz in preparation for next year’s harmonised elections.