ZANU-PF’s recent violation of privacy has been grabbing all the headlines. The political party sent out some unsolicited and scarily specific SMSs to some Econet subscribers. This has resulted in a lot of heated debate with people questioning where the party got these numbers and the specific constituency of subcribers. As we were taking a closer look at this situation we stumbled upon a website containing the voters’ roll for 30 July’s election. We downloaded the voters’ roll for the Harare Metropolitan and quickly we realised that the voters’ roll may be too detailed and this may leave citizens exposed to all kinds of risks for a long time.
In a voters’ roll report published by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network(ZESN) chief among their recommendations to ZEC is the statement:
The voters’ roll should be accessible and readily available for inspection to the public to increase transparency and confidence in the voters’ roll.
The transparency championed by ZESN also comes with some serious risks. The fact that there is a site that contains the voters’ roll for the upcoming elections might turn out to be a double-edged sword.