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Mudede misleading the nation
October 13, 2011
In a bid to
derail the registration of potential young and old voters, the Registrar
General, Tobaiwa Mudede released an article that was highly misleading
and potentially damaging to the progress being made by different
independent players like the Youth Forum in getting more people
to register as voters and vote.
In an article
published in The Youth Line issue No. 4 of October 2011 and also
in The Herald of 21 September 2011, the Registrar General made three
glaring misrepresentations of information aimed at reducing the
number of new and especially young voters from registering and participating
in the next election.
Voters Most Prejudiced
Mr. T. Mudede
in his notice on defining proof of residence for the rural folk
wrote "rural dwellers would need a confirmation letter from
the chief, headman or village head, farm owner or mine owner",
a statement that is not only a lie but a blatant attempt at reducing
elected officials' duties while amplifying the duties of traditional
leaders, who are notorious for being partisan and attach themselves
to ZANU PF, a party the Registrar openly sympathizes with and supports.
Act Chapter 2:13 Acts 25/2004, 17/2007, 1/2008 on the interpretation
of 'proof of residence' notes a councilor as the first
person who can write that acceptable statement. The reason for Mudede's
omitting this important elected official is apparent to anyone who
understands the political landscape of the country. ZANU PF has
fewer councilors in the country compared to its nemesis, the MDC-T,
hence the need to thwart the registration of those perceived to
be pro-MDC-T by denying them the proof of residence, itself a nonsensical
requirement, and allow registration of pro-ZANU PF individuals by
saying only partisan-traditional leaders can provide such documentation.
Mudede also shamelessly decided to mislead the nation, especially
the rural folk that only such letters can serve as proof of residence
when the interpretation section of the Electoral Act clearly adds
a definition of the proof as "or any other satisfactory documentary
evidence reasonably establishing the place of residence of the voter
or complainant;" implying more documents such as stamped envelopes
bearing the name and address of the holder can also be regarded
as proof of residence as they "reasonably establish the place
of residence" of the holder.
In his article,
Mudede says only a Zimbabwe National Registration Identity Card
or a valid Zimbabwean Passport can act as proof of identity, he
goes on to specifically single out the driver's license as
not valid proof of residence saying "A driver's license
is not acceptable for registration purpose". This is in stark
contrast with the Electoral Act that governs his execution of duties
with regards to voter registration as well as the registration requirements,
the Act, under interpretation of terms, states "a valid driver's
license containing an identity number assigned to the holder thereof
under the National Registration Act [Chapter 10:17]" can act
as proof of identity.
It is mind-boggling
how and why the Registrar General would want to deny a lot of urban
youths, most of whom survive through use of their driver's
licenses to get employment, a chance to exercise their democratic
right of choosing a leader of their own choice by denying them a
chance to register using the licenses as allowed for in the laws
governing the country's voter registration process.
The Youth Forum
is in the process of consulting with its legal team to task the
Registrar General to release an accurate statement that tallies
with the laws governing his employment as a public servant. This
is in line with the organization's campaign which aims at
adding one million new young voters to the voters' roll and
encourages these to participate in all forth-coming elections.
Visit the Youth
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