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ZESN's concerns on the inspection centres of the voters' roll inspection and registration during the extension period
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
February 03, 2005

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) is concerned with the numerous complaints on the anomalies on the extension of the voters' roll inspection as well as registration of new voters. According to the 2000hrs Sunday Edition Bulletin of 30th of January on ZTV, the inspection of the voters' roll and voter registration was extended to Friday 4th of February 2005. We also cite the proclamation of the extraordinary government Gazette in which the President set the same date as the day on which the voters' roll shall be regarded as closed for the purpose of voter registration and inspection. The feedback we are getting indicates that many of these inspection centers are in actual fact closed and no inspection is taking place.

Our team has today visited inspection centers such as Avondale Primary School, Warren Park 1 Primary School, Kambuzuma 2 High School, Mufakose High 3, Belvedere Teachers College, Belgravia Sports Club, Greystone Park Primary School, and Highlands Primary School. The team discovered that there is no activity-taking place at these supposedly inspection and registration centers as advertised by the Registrar General of Elections, Tobaiwa Mudede in the Herald and Chronicle of 14 January 2005.

Further investigations have revealed that the process has been centralized to the Registrar General's Market Square offices. Our team discovered that there are more than 200 people waiting to be served at the Registrar General's Market Square offices. It is evident that the team is unable to cope especially considering that some of the people in the queue have been there since morning. From the complaints we have been receiving it appears that the members of the public were not informed about the centralization of the process. As a result hundreds of voters risk being disenfranchised, as it is virtually impossible for only one inspection center to serve eighteen constituencies. The urban poor cannot afford the transport costs involved in travelling to the centralized inspection point particularly when there is no guarantee that one will be served there.

We hope that the Registrar General of Elections shall take all necessary measures to ensure that the voters in Harare get an opportunity to inspect the voters' roll and also register as voters.

Dr Reginald Matchaba Hove
ZESN Chairperson

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