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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Crisis Report Issue 199
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    July 11, 2013

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    Mobile Registration, Prospective Voters Left Out

    The mobile registration process has left out many prospective voters and should be extended to take on board Zimbabweans who were turned away from the voter registration queues, says civil society.

    Election Resource Centre (ERC) Director Tawanda Chimhini said the process managed to register a big number of new voters, but left out of a significant number as seen by hordes of people being turned away on closing day, July 9.

    “We hope the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will take this opportunity to extend because the law says at least 30 days should be given to the process which means that is the minimum number of days required,” said Chimhini.

    Chimhini said the refusal by Zimbabwe Electoral commission (ZEC) to accredit civil society organisations to do voter education meant people were not informed in time, leading to increasing queues towards the end of the exercise.

    ZEC had deployed two people to do voter education in each of the 1,958 wards across the country.

    “When you look at that number and the number of people we have in the country that is a drop in the ocean.

    “What would have made sense for a Commission without money is to sub-contract the process especially given that the civil society organisations have structures in the communities,” the ERC Director said.

    Nkosilathi Moyo, director of Zimbabwe Organisation for Youth in Politics (ZOYP) said: “I was in Marlborough in Harare and there were a number of people who were turned away. ZEC was supposed to extend by a day or two to incorporate those who were turned away from the queues.”

    Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai aired similar sentiments through its Secretary General and Finance Minister Hon. Tendai Biti. The MDC Secretary General held a press conference in Harare on Wednesday, July 10 where he emphasized that the process had been exclusive and should be extended until Friday, July 18.

    “Thousands and thousands of people were disenfranchised by a process that was deliberately slow,” said Biti, adding that about 300 000 people in Harare alone failed to register.

    Biti pointed to more anomalies, including alleged and apparently inexplicable reduction of registered voters in Dzivarasekwa from 30 000 to 22 000 in the constituency’s voters roll. He added that his party was concerned with unilateral transferring of registered voters and multiple varied databases allegedly in possession of the Registrar-General of Voters (RGV).

    A human rights lawyer, Jeremiah Bhamu, said normal voter registration should only close 12 days before the Election Day, July 31. Bhamu said this was according to Section 26 (a) of the Electoral Act as amendment by Statutory Instrument 85 of 2013 passed by President Robert Mugabe via the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act on June 13.

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