ZEC gives undocumented citizens chance to register

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Harare (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it has deferred to next year a mobile voter registration exercise initially scheduled to begin early next month in order to accommodate as many eligible voters who are in the process of acquiring national identity documents under the current nationwide registration blitz.
The Registrar General’s Department launched a nationwide ID registration exercise in September this year to clear a huge backlog which had accumulated due to successive stringent COVID-19 lockdowns, during which the department was only processing urgent documents such as burial orders and a limited number of passports.
So far, outlying areas including Tsholotsho, Bulilima and Binga and reclusive communities such as the San have benefited under the blitz.
In a statement, ZEC acting chief elections officer Jane Chigidji said the postponement was after consultations with stakeholders.
“The mobile voter registration exercise pencilled for 6 December 2021 has been postponed to February 2022. The need to uphold inclusivity, which is one of the commission’s core values, has necessitated this postponement,” she said.
“The deferment is meant to allow all eligible stakeholders to acquire national identity cards which are a requisite for voter registration. The period initially slated for the voter registration exercise would have excluded some stakeholders without national identity cards.
“The postponement will also give the civil registry enough time to prepare for issuance of identity documents to a large period within a specified period.”
Zimbabwe is due to hold elections in 2023, and the mobile registration exercise is part of several pre-election activities that ZEC and other relevant stakeholders have lined up.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency is preparing to conduct a national population census next year whose results will guide the creation of new electoral maps and boundaries to be used in 2023.
The population census is being held a year earlier specifically for that purpose.
Meanwhile, ZEC is also pursuing a clean-up exercise of the country’s voters’ roll.
In a general notice published in the Government Gazette, ZEC announced its intentions to remove over 22 000 registered voters who are presumed to have died.
“It is hereby notified, in terms of section 33(4) read with section 27(1) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13], that voter registration officers have reason to believe that the persons whose names are listed in the First Schedule, and who were registered as voters for the constituencies, wards and polling stations listed therein have died. The names of those persons will be removed from the voters roll unless notice of appeal is given to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,” ZEC said.
“By means of this notice, notification is made to any voter on the First Schedule who may be alive to lodge an objection, at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Mahachi Quantum Building, 1 Nelson Mandela Avenue, corner Kaguvi Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare, and at the respective Commission Provincial Offices, to the inclusion of his or her name in the First Schedule using the form prescribed in the Second Schedule no later than seven days from the date of publication of this notice.”
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