FORMER Zanu PF politburo heavyweight and Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa yesterday warned that the arrest of 11 National University of Science and Technology (Nust) students who attempted to vote in internal party elections using fake registration slips was just a tip of the iceberg.
The 11 allegedly attempted to use the fake slips in elections for the Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial youth chairperson at the party’s Davies Hall on Sunday.
Dabengwa said confirmation of the possession of fake registration slips by Zanu PF members gives credence to complaints that these were used in the July 31 elections.
The former Home Affairs minister raised fears that countless fake registration slips were still in circulation and scores of unsuspecting people could have been defrauded as those still in possession of these fake slips could now be using them for criminal activities.
“This is just a tip of the ice-berg,” Dabengwa said.
“We exposed this issue of duplication of ID slips and people’s names on the voters’ roll and no one listened then, but it’s now coming out.
“One would have thought that Zanu PF would be smart enough to quickly withdraw the fake slips from people they issued them to soon after the elections.
“How many people could have been defrauded by those with fake registration slips? I don’t think people really scrutinise ID slips to distinguish fake and genuine ones?
“This is worrisome,” Dabengwa said, adding that it was difficult to account for all fake registration slips Zanu PF issued to its supporters.
Zanu PF provincial chairperson Callistus Ndlovu said they were taking the issue of the attempted rigging in the internal polls seriously. The Sunday elections were called off after it was noticed that there were scores of youths from Nust with the fake ID registration slips.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Bhekimpilo Ndlovu said they had not received any information on the arrest.
“The alleged arrest information has not reached me and I have to verify,” Ndlovu said.
Use of fake registration slips to rig general elections, especially in urban areas such as Harare, was reportedly widespread in the July 31 polls.
MDC-T charged that Zanu PF bussed supporters in from rural areas armed with fake registration slips to vote in targeted urban constituencies.
Shadowy Israeli security company Nikuv International Projects, which specialises in voters’ rolls and handling of election results as well as providing intelligence services, was accused of masterminding rigging of the polls in favour of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Nikuv is accused of allegedly using several methods, including producing different copies of the voters’ rolls and setting up sneaky polling stations to fix results in favour of Mugabe and Zanu PF.