‘Elections can’t be rigged’ – Zec says foolproof system in place

Justice Priscilla Chigumba

Justice Priscilla Chigumba

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday said the 2018 elections cannot be rigged as the country’s voting system is foolproof.

The electoral body challenged anyone who can prove otherwise to come forward.

In an interview at the electoral body’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) stand, Zec’s chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the very aspect of the system being tamper-proof would ensure a free, fair and credible election that cannot be rigged.

She said Zec is committed to providing a credible election through its 100 percent secure Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system.  The BVR system is a new registration system which captures an individual’s biometric features.

“The BVR system is tamper-proof for the simple reason that the data that we collected is housed in something called the consolidation server. The consolidation server contains the master server that contains all the information and we then have other servers which we are using to connect that data. Those servers have very strict protection files. They’re very strict un-hackable access level passwords that are tamper free,” said Justice Chigumba.

She said members of the public who have evidence that the voting system can be interfered with should bring it forward.

“And I can assure Zimbabwean voters, if any Zimbabwean or any other person who has information that Zec is involved in practices which might be viewed as tampering with that data base, can they bring that evidence to us,” she said.

Justice Chigumba said she would not be drawn into commenting on rigging allegations levelled against Zanu-PF by MDC Alliance presidential candidate Advocate Nelson Chamisa.

Last weekend Adv Chamisa told a rally in Nyanga that if the MDC Alliance does not win the coming elections the ruling party would have rigged.
He, however, failed to substantiate his vote rigging claims.

Justice Chigumba said she cannot comment on rigging allegations that are made for political grandstanding.

“I don’t want to comment directly on what political parties have said about other political parties but I can assure the Zimbabwean voters that Zec is doing and has done its level best to ensure that that data is safe,” said Justice Chigumba.

Opposition parties have in the past used the rigging mantra as their excuse after being walloped by Zanu-PF.

Already MDC Alliance is developing cold feet over the forthcoming elections threatening to boycott the elections if some terms are not met.
President Mnangagwa has repeatedly assured the world that the harmonised elections, expected to be held in July this year, would be free, fair and credible.

The Government has invited observers from all over the world to see for themselves. Western countries like the UK and US that were barred by the previous regime have been invited this year. —@nqotshili

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  • Gatsheni

    This Chronicle journalists are just Zanu PF boutlickers, singing for their supper, we know very well that Zanu has been rigging elections for years and worse how can we trust this info coming from boutlickers like u Nqobile

    • Richard

      To be Frank. The only rigging that will exist in thè coming elections is by People themselves wanting to vote and not being registered. To date one thing to note is that zanu pf is more organized than any other party on the ground. The first voters to be registered successfully were in zanu pf strongholds whilst the opposition were clamouring about the biometric process. Look even now the opposition is busy finding fault with the govt of the day instead of joining forces in promoting the country. My own prediction is as follows parliamentary seats zanu pf 45- 60% mdc alliance 25% -35% Mujuru and independants will share the rest of spoils.
      Simple logic , action speaks louder than words. ED is acting not speaking much. His works will be rewarded. ED will win more than 60% of the presidential vote at the rate he is going it might be more… For the record I am a Chamisa fan but this is reality.

      • NashTee

        u might be right on tht mate……

        • Bth

          This election is not predictable.This time around i dont think it is possible to to tell what % who will get.Its a watershed election , both players are new to this but i foresee a run off which will be won by the party which can form an Alliance with other parties.From my analysis it is rather unprofessional for a learned Judge to say their system is temper proof , am sorry to say this , the Judge eered and i doubt we as the nation have the right person on that job.The votes in this election will be won not only on what one candidate is good or what but because the elections are free.Those areas said to be strongholds i dont think there are.there are a lot of human factors which will affect this election

          • Carolyne

            I spent a year basically eating pizza.

      • Doctor Do little

        I beg to differ with you. As much as many wanted Mugabe gone no one from a Province that is not his, will know what relationship that province had with its soon to be former MP or what like or dislike they had for the new leader so for me he is skating on thinner ice than Chamisa who might attract most of the younger vote and some of the older disgruntled eldrs. Either way this one is difficult to call IMHO.

        • Bongi Mhlophe

          Keep eating rotten food.

          • Ntshompi

            Fuseki wena, what is your point . Stop denigrating other people and bring your point shlama.

  • Roland Khumalo

    If hackers can dump the personal files of the FBI Severs whats a simple Zim BVR system.

    • Essexvale

      Indeed!

  • Lux

    It’s rigged already….

  • NashTee

    Dont fool us… we hve seen tht before

  • qondani

    No news at all. Ruled by the arm at the moment

    • Tony Stone

      I believe growing up, you were dumped a lot, with such a closed mind!

  • C.Note

    The BVR system is tamper-proof really? Certainly the US 2016 electronic elections that used the more advanced electoral system was tempered with. What more the Zimbabwe BVR. To make matters worse the data was stored in hard drives and flash sticks at the registration centers, that were re-conciliated into ZEC data servers. How then can we guarantee that the hard disks and the flash drives were not tempered with on the way to ZEC. You people like to take the people of Zimbabwe for a ride. You think we don’t read and follow these things, you are so patronizing shame.

  • Doctor Do little

    I think the Judge is naive to think that this election cannot be rigged before it even happens. The statement from a person in her position should be that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commision will do everything in its power to make sure that the election is not rigged. My own personal opinion is that this particular one even if rigged will not guarantee the rigger victory. This is because with the people power that was visible during the Former Presidents ouster no body knows what others are thinking or will do. They might attend rallies and meetings but many are now aware that you can vote secretly so to rig successfully might prove difficult. Also as much as MDC is split so is Zanu pf. Interesting.

    • Essexvale

      The secrecy of one’s vote should be key in voter education programmes by concerned civil society organisations among rural folk. We urban folk can also join the action by spreading the message among our relatives in rural areas. This way, if everyone does his/her civic bit, your projection concerning the election results will be achievable! Anyway, great thinking mate.

      • Dr Frank N Stein

        You know your stuff man.

        • Angellina

          What’s the best diet for losing all the weight you put on over Christmas?

    • Sarah Mpofu

      A potato is a plant.

  • steve blomefield

    There is no such thing as an unhackable system. This is a lie. even bitcoin banks have been hacked. The easiest way of hacking is simply to delete those who are deemed to be unfavorable to the party. Thus whites and those registering in cities will have their detail deleted. In the last elections it was claimed that I was not resident in my constituency. When i bought the receipt it was refused until i threatened court action against the election officers. Political prostitutes. Judases. Mugabe slaves. [may his name be cursed forever] I am not prepared to judge this BVR system until election day. If I am allowed to vote all well and good. If I am not recognised as a voter then myself and tens of thousands of others will have something to say to the world.

  • Essexvale

    It’s like the evil one claiming that he’s good. Since ZEC is inviting citizens to come forward in order to dispute its claims that elections cannot be rigged under the new elections technology and dispensation, I’d like to submit my concern in this regard. ZANU PF activists and traditional leaders linked to that party, are going around demanding voter slips with their pin numbers as a means of coercing rural folk to vote for the party. This practice, besides being a form of rigging is, according to the rights charter in the nation’s constitution, is a blatant violation of one’s right to privacy, freedom of association and liberty in expressing oneself. Why is ZEC not using it’s mandate to stop this evil practice, even though they, as an organisation, are aware of its continuous occurrence?

    • Bth

      i salute you for that challenge.When one is rigging one does not target the electronic system but targets the preliminary processes.if i may know whats the issue of voter registration serial numbers

      • Essexvale

        What exactly are you suggesting?

        • Bth

          For us to know the rigging we have to put our minds on ;
          1.What are the serial numbers used for.
          2.every system has its weaknesses, we should explore and find out through research and experiences eg Kenya , US etc
          3.We must go to our rural areas and know whats happening to our rural communities.
          After every two weeks i visit my rural home to check on what is happening.While there educate the communities on where we are and what a new government is likely to do.educate them on what a coup is , and different types of coups and disadvantages of such
          4.get as close as possible to these Zanu people and know what their strategy is , if possible assume to be one of them and destroy them from within.
          5.It is not our leaders who should be doing this , is is us and we should use each and every platform to highlight any anomaly we see and meet ,
          6.lastly and more importantly the opposition MUST unite or else we will be wasting our votes

          • Essexvale

            Yes I readily agree with your points, particularly No. 5.., which is also a suggestion that I made. Allow me also to respond to your No. 1 point. Those going around asking for voter serial numbers are doing so as a means of intimidating their victims. Many of our rural folk lack adequate knowledge about the country’s voting systems, particularly the BVR technology. As such, they are being tricked into believing that the serial number allows interested parties to determine how they (the victims) have voted.

          • Galveston
          • Essexvale
          • Tony Stone

            I thought it was funny personally, particularly as a snooker fan..

          • Doctor Frank N Stein

            Jofa gave you a blood nose yesterday so now you are back to those nonsensical comments that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

          • Dr Frank N Stein

            Stop using my name.

          • Sandra

            Try skipping alcohol after 16:43 pm

          • Mlungisi Magwaza

            He’s not using the gun to control the woman, but intimidate the boyfriend.

          • Zapalala

            Kkk spooks will do anything for their supper shame shlama

        • Thulani Madonsela

          He’s saying it like it is, I bet you read the credits after movies.

    • Thandiwe Hlophe

      Her saying she is not interested actually solves everything, doesn’t it.

      • Essexvale

        No it’s does not. You see, it is attitudes like her’s that are our downfall. These are the people who don’t bother to exercise their constitutional right to vote and thereby hand the results to the enemy on a silver platter. Such persons are the type who spend the bulk of their time gossiping on What’sApp or partying to that zimdancehall rubbish, as if those activities will improve her lifestyle the way voting wisely will.

    • Zanele Melokuhle Ngwenya

      Haaayi wena eclerk shem uyasbhora Yoooo????????????????

  • musa

    yeah right

  • sakhamuzi

    Zec drivers are reckless when driving in the rural areas . Running over someone’s livestock like chickens, dogs, and other animals. another driver was overheard saying goats seem clever than the other animals.Before dispatching these drivers zec officials should teach them ubuntu or even pay refunds

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  • Mazivawani

    Chigumba you are an appointee of the sitting government who is not technically savvy with regard to electronic data capture technology. You are probably the weak link in the system.There is absolutely nothing called temper proof. Encrypted personal data has been routinely hacked from the most secure of servers in very technologically advanced places. If it can be hacked it can be altered. The BVR system was procured by the sitting government from suspicious sources so who is to say if there is going to be any rigging it will not be an inside job? There will be no rigging if nobody wants to do it not because it cannot be done.