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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Voter registration comes to an end
    Youth Forum
    July 10, 2013

    Yesterday marked the end of the 30-day voter registration and inspection exercise. However, the process ended with turmoil and many grievances regarding the inadequate voter registration period the need for an extension of the voter registration. There were very long queues at the registration centers that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had to extend the process so people who were still in the queues could register until midnight but still it was not enough. Most Zimbabweans think that they have been robbed of their right to vote as the process was closed before most people, especially the youth could get to register. Young people in urban areas were faced with a plethora of challenges in trying to add their name to the voter’s role. The process was slow and tiring with most aspiring voters being turned away without getting the information that could help them in practicing their right.

    In a briefing of the civic society on special and postal vote the Youth Forum attended earlier today, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Justice Rita Makarau addressed the question as to why the voter registration period could not be extended. In her response she explained that the closing date for the voter registration was set by the constitution so it could not be extended and that people can go ahead and register as voters but they will not be able to vote in the current elections. She also highlighted some of the important dates which include the 10th of July when the voter’s role closes and the 12th when the elections to the chief’s council will be held. Lastly, the special voting dates which were set on the 14th and 15th of July and what has been done to safeguard the special voting system. “There is nothing special about the special vote, it is just an early vote and the rest of the Zimbabweans will be casting their votes on the 31st of July”, she remarked.

    Meanwhile, Zimbabweans are counting down to the big day with most of them disappointed by the just ended voter registration process. It is such a pity that Zimbabwe’s path to full voting rights tended to be very long and challenging for most Zimbabwean citizens. During the process, Zimbabweans were being denied of their voting rights by the frustrating registration process which led to sending home some of the prospective voters as they could not produce the required documents. The voter registration has also been coupled with long queues especially those of the affidavits. This has facilitated the manipulation of the voter registration process. Backtracking, it seems some of the 2009 scenarios are being restated in 2013, the same people who were responsible for the electoral process are in charge so things are most likely to be the same.

    Moreover, there is a lot of disgruntlement by most Zimbabweans because of what they have come across on the voter’s role. Zimbabweans have noticed some injustices in as far as the voter’s role is concerned. Some people who have lawfully registered as voters found out that their names have been removed from the voter’s roll and these have been replaced by ghost voters. Some of the names that have been seen to appear on the voter’s role are those of the deceased and those that are in the diaspora, even names of the newly born. In the interim, most Zimbabweans are irritated and anxious and speculation is rife. This shameful injustice has prevailed over years and robbed the Zimbabweans of their freedom of choice. Credible elections begin with a credible voter’s role so the moment people start questioning about the country’s voter’s role then something will be definitely wrong with the system. However, it is the hope of every Zimbabwean that truth and integrity will ultimately prevail and that the shameful injustice will be corrected.

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