14 September 2017

Zimbabwe: New Voters' Roll Crafting Starts Today

Photo: The Herald
Biometric Voter Registration equipment (file photo).

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) starts crafting a new voters' roll today as 2018 harmonised elections draw closer.

President Mugabe is expected to launch the biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise at State House. The electoral body is crafting a new biometric voters' roll for the polls, which would be polling station-based.

ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau confirmed the development yesterday. "We are launching the mobile voter registration exercise tomorrow (today)," she said.

"We are hoping that President Mugabe will launch the programme for us at State House in the morning and thereafter we are going to continue with registration in public of a few invited guests at the Harare International Conference Centre. We are ready for the exercise."

ZEC now has the constitutional mandate to register voters, taking over the function from the Registrar General's Office in line with the dictates of the new Constitution adopted in 2013.

The electoral body starts continuous voter registration today and will launch a blitz for the 2018 elections in October.

The blitz will run until January 15 as proclaimed by President Mugabe. Zanu-PF yesterday said it was heightening preparations for the polls with the party's spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo urging party cadres to register anew.

The party is holding workshops around the country on voter education and registration. Said Cde Khaya Moyo: "We urge all our party members to register for the elections and we have set in motion everything. What is important is that we want everybody above the age of 18 to register across the country. Everybody is registering anew. This is a completely new exercise with new registers and those in urban areas should have proof of residence in the form of water or electricity bills or affidavits if you are a lodger to show where you stay."

He said party cadres without identity documents should take advantage of the mobile units set up by the Registrar General's office. "They should do everything they can to know when the processes will be done in their respective areas," Cde Khaya Moyo said. "They must produce metal or plastic IDs, passports not drivers' licences. We want to win the elections resoundingly and silence our detractors once and for all. You have seen us going to Bulawayo and Matabeleland South and tomorrow (today) we will be in Harare and Marondera speaking about all aspects to do with the elections."

After ending the blitz on January 15, ZEC will continue registering voters. The voters' roll for the 2018 elections will close 12 days after nomination. The electoral body is targeting to register seven million voters.

ZEC has received 400 kits for Biometric Voter Registration and another 2 600 are expected for the blitz voter registration exercise to begin.

Voter registration requires about $15 million and the electoral body has submitted its budget to Treasury.

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