THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) yesterday accused a group of data analysts, Team Pachedu, of employing “terrorist tactics” to try to hack into its system and destabilise the country's election processes.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs for a post-budget consultation meeting, ZEC chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana said:
“The Pachedu group has not been able to break into our system, but they have made several attempts. They have maliciously spread a lot of disinformation, misinformation and malformation about the commission, which then in the public eye looks like ZEC is highly vulnerable and they have broken into [the servers], but they have not.
“I think it is some kind of silly manoeuvres to try to destabilise ZEC. The purpose of the commission reporting them is that this is an attempt. If someone attempts to rape, it is an offence, right?”
“So they are attempting to rape ZEC and this is why we reported them. There have been about 100 attempts to hack into our server, which hosts the voters roll, but they have never broken into it. Our website system is separate from the system that hosts the voters roll.”
The commission on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against Team Pachedu at Harare Central Police Station under IR111760 accusing the group of hacktivism, impersonation, unauthorised data mining and cyber-terrorism.
Pachedu has exposed a number of anomalies in the voters roll. Silaigwana said the 2023 budget allocation for ZEC was 33% lower than their initial $151,2 billion