ZEC sets up over 2 700 biometric voter registration centres

30 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
ZEC sets up over 2 700 biometric voter registration centres Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Mr Aaron Nhepera

The Sunday News

Harare Bureau

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will set up more than 2 700 mobile voter registration centres during the first phase of the mobile Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) drive that begins on Tuesday.

The exercise will run for a month. Voter registration will be conducted in two phases, with the first phase running from February 1 to February 28, before the second phase is conducted between April 10 and April 30. ZEC is heightening preparations for drawing up constituency boundaries under the delimitation exercise scheduled for September.

About 271 voter registration centres will be set up in the Harare, while 152 centres will be established in Bulawayo.

Manicaland and Mashonaland Central will have 266 and 291 centres, respectively.

Mashonaland East Province is expected to have 303, Mashonaland West 325, Masvingo 287, Matabeleland North 159 and Matabeleland South 223.

Voters in the Midlands Province will have 354 centres.

The second phase of the exercise will see the Registrar-General Office issuing civic documents at some of the voter registration centres. ZEC postponed the programme in December last year following an increase in coronavirus infections at some of its offices.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera said the two exercises will run concurrently.

“At the end of March, we are going to embark on an extensive exercise where the RG’s Office will issue IDs and this will coincide with the voter registration blitz (the second phase) in preparation for the delimitation exercise.

Currently, we still have challenges with consumables.

However, we are working with Garsu Pasaulis (GP) to ensure the RG’s Office begins to operate at an optimum level. We began with issuing passports and now we will be moving to IDs.” 

ZEC Commissioner Mrs Joyce Kazembe said the elections management body was adequately prepared.

“We are prepared and ready for the registration blitz like we announced recently.

We are finalising training and we have completed voter education, so we are ready.”

Civic society has applauded ZEC for undertaking the exercise, which will help inform the delimitation exercise and consequently the distribution of constituencies among provinces for next year’s elections.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) chairperson Mr Andrew Makoni said: “The voter registration blitz is a welcome development.

However, it is premature to comment beyond what I have said as the process itself has not started.

We will be giving feedback as we observe the registration process across the country.”

Zanu-PF national political commissioner Cde Mike Bimha said the ruling party had instructed its lower organs to begin mobilising prospective voters.

“For us, this is a continuous process where we encourage our members to go register and vote.

Over the past few years, the party has been receiving new members and through our cells we have encouraged them to register to vote.

We have engaged our leaders at the cell levels to educate and mobilise our members who have not registered to vote to take advantage of this period and vote in the 2023 elections.”

Zanu-PF plans to mobilise five million voters for the forthcoming elections.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Lloyd Damba said the party was also prepared for the exercise.

“We have already informed our members to be ready for the blitz so that they are ready for the 2023 harmonised elections,” he said.

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