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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Mobile voter registration process in Zimbabwe
Election Support Network
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Free and fair elections
cannot be undertaken without a proper verification that the voters
participating in the election fulfill of legal requirements to do
so. Best practice dictates that all the procedures related to the
registration of voters be complete, inclusive and non-discriminatory.
This is critical as any doubts or irregularities in this process
will inevitably cast a shadow on the electoral outcome. Principles
of voter registration include integrity, inclusiveness, comprehensiveness,
accuracy, accessibility, transparency, and security and credibility.
In Zimbabwe all the requirements
for voter eligibility are clearly laid in the Constitution. The
Electoral law however has to regulate, design, and update these
requirements. Indeed the legal framework should require that voter
registration be maintained in a manner that is transparent and accurate,
protects the right of qualified citizens to register, and prevents
the unlawful or fraudulent registration or removal of persons.
Against the background
of a flawed, bloated voters’ roll, over the past years calls
have continued to come from citizens, political parties and civil
society organisations for a transparent voter registration exercise
to be conducted before the next election.
On the 29th
of April, the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) and the office
of the Registrar-General rolled out a mobile voter registration
exercise to reach the prospective registrants across the country.
The exercise began on April 29 and ran for 21 days until May 19
– although normal registration continued at district offices.
ZEC is mandated by law to supervise the compilation of the voters’
roll, registration of voters and maintenance of an up to date voters’
roll among other duties and responsibilities.
General set up 89 Mobile
Voter Registration teams to cover 62 districts. The teams were
located in selected wards and registration centers opened from 7am-7pm
during week days and 7am -5pm during weekends. The teams also comprised
of a team that was also issuing out national identity documents.
The just ended
mobile voter registration process has been described by various
stakeholders as chaotic
and unsatisfactory. According to the Herald, Wednesday 22 May
2013 about 200 000 Zimbabweans registered as first-time voters’.
An estimated 268 574 inspected the voters’ roll, while 71
131 transferred from their previous ward. An estimated number of
214 230 people had their identity cards issued. The process was
marred by lack of funding, inadequate publicity and voter education,
thus the process has been defined as haphazard and ill-planned.
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