Harare, Zimbabwe — A data leakage scandal has hit Zimbabwe’s election after the ruling party sent personalized, unsolicited campaign messages to potential voters’ mobile phones.
According to the opposition, thousands of supporters reported receiving the messages. Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa tweeted, “ZANU-PF has been caught with its hands in the cookie jar. There is no legal way for any political party to access voter phone numbers.”
Zanu PF has been caught with its hands in the cookie jar. There is no legal way for any political party to access voter phone numbers. A govt that does illegal things can’t deliver prosperity and happiness. Join me tomorrow July 11 as we demonstrate against ZEC. We will prevail. pic.twitter.com/5yRVohr46e
— Nelson Chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) July 10, 2018
The electoral commission denied sharing voters’ data with the ruling party. One of the commissioners, Qhubani Moyo, called the messages bulk telemarketing , “adverts that we have always seen and received from various suppliers of services.”
ZANU-PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo did in fact confirm that the party had sent the messages but deny the information came from the elections body. Moyo refused to say where their received the data.
The election is July 30.