At least 64 670 people have registered to vote under the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's (ZEC) Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) mop-up exercise, bringing the total number of registrants to a cumulative 4 944 152. ZEC's mop up exercise started on January 10 this year, to cater for potential registrants who failed to register in the main exercise that ended on December 19 last year.
The mop-up is expected to run until February 8. In a statement, ZEC chief elections officer Mrs Constance Chigwamba said the commission managed to register 64 670 people from 389 registration centres in the first five days of the mop-up exercise. "Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has registered 64 670 people as at 15 January 2018 under the mop-up voter registration exercise scheduled to run from 10 January 2018 to 08 February 2018," she said.
"These registrants are from 389 centres out of 449 registration centres." Statistics from the remaining 60 centres, Mrs Chigwamba said, had not yet been submitted by Monday due to communication challenges. ZEC has established 2 850 mobile and 87 static registration centres across the country's 10 provinces, targeting to register 5,5 million voters ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
Following an ex-tempore judgment by the High Court allowing aliens to vote, ZEC has invited holders of identity cards endorsed "Alien", with proof that one of their parents was born in Southern Africa, to also register. "The commission wishes to advise the public that certain categories of persons previously classified as 'alien' can register to vote during the BVR mop-up exercise if they have long birth certificates that indicate that:
they were born in or outside Zimbabwe, but either of their parents are citizens of Zimbabwe; or
they were born in Zimbabwe and one or both of their parents are citizens of a Southern African Development Community (sadc) country and that they were ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe on the day of the publication of the Constitution on 22 May 2013."
ZEC emphasised that the end of the mop-up exercise will not mark the end of the voter registration exercise. The commission said the registration process will continue at 63 ZEC District Offices until 12 days after the sitting of the Nomination Court for the 2018 Harmonised Elections.