Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabweans are not showing “enthusiasm” to register to vote despite massive voter registration awareness campaigns and the countrywide voter registration blitz rolled out by electoral authorities recently.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) conducted a BVR blitz in February and April in preparation for a delimitation exercise to be conducted later in the year for the 2023 elections.
But, Zec chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana said only 204 056 people registered to vote between January and May with the peak registration period recorded in February and April when the commission conducted the BVR blitz.
Zec has said it is targeting to register at least one million new voters before the 2023 elections.
“Because Zec wants people to register as much as they can we carried out two voter registration drives which were supplementing the ongoing voter registration that our people can access at any given time during working hours in our 63 districts at 10 provinces, but the uptake is very low,” he said.
“Yes we understand that in this country registration and voting is voluntary but at the same time everyone has got a responsibility to participate in the issues of governance.
“There is no enthusiasm to register to vote. But we keep on encouraging people to register to vote because it has got a bearing on delimitation.”
Silaigwana said the voter population as of last week was 5.7 million comprising of 3 119 085 females and 2 676 462 males.
“As we speak now after the continuous voter registration and the blitz we are now sitting at a total of 5 795 547 voters. But these figures are not final because voter registration is continuing and also because cleaning of the voters’ roll is continuing.
“As I speak now that figure has already changed because people continue to register and people continue to die, this information is going to be updated and when we go to delimitation we will then put out a notice and say for the purposes of delimitation, the figure is this much,” he said.
Silaigwana said Zec had initiated stakeholder engagements in preparation for the delimitation exercise, which will only be done after the release of census results.
“The commencement of the delimitation exercise will be signified by the publication of a notice in the gazette by the commission of its intention to start the activity and in line with the provisions of the electoral law.”