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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • CHRA mobile voter registration survey update
    Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
    May 14, 2013

    Residents have slammed the recently launched Mobile Voter Registration Exercise as lacking sincerity and proper logistical arrangements. This came after many residents failed to register as voters within the available timeframe stipulated by the Registrar General who continues to be officious of limited resources being channeled in from treasury. CHRA has recorded 72 cases of residents being turned away after being told that they do not have proof of residence despite a call made by the ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau that even without the aforesaid documentation one could still go on to register as a voter. However, what is happening on the ground is the exact opposite of the chairperson’s call. In other areas like Glenview, one resident can take up to 20 minutes being registered and this has triggered waves of impatience on the part of those waiting to register subsequently returning to their homes because of other commitments.

    Below is a brief update sampled from areas visited by the CHRA Community Mobilisation Team:

    • Mbare & Sunningdale: Registration is taking place but many people were not aware that the process was ongoing within the area. Zanu-PF was mobilising in the entire market stalls (i.e. Mupedzanhamo, Magaba, Siyaso, Mbare musika, Paget House and Carter House) for all those in their data base to re-register as voters in Mbare. Last year we reported that Zanu-PF had established structures in all these market stalls and each market stall served as a Zanu-PF district which is further decentralised into cells allowing an effective and efficient micro-political management system for its members. This process was being led by the youth militia in which we saw droves of entrepreneurs plying the trade at Mbare Musika being coerced to go to the registration centre. The CHRA Ward structures reported that they had visited households with pamphlets encouraging people to go and register to vote without any hindrance.
    • Glen-View 2, 3&6: Many people in this area were not aware of the requirements needed to register as a voter. The main age group affected falls between 18 and 24-25. There was also confusion around alien registration. Aliens are being instructed to first change their IDs then register with a new ID which does not have an alien code. The registration rate was very slow and the lackadaisical approach successfully frustrated many who opted to go back home. Some residents came with their proof of residence signed by their landlords but failed to produce an affidavit from the same landlord which also saw them being turned away. CHRA is organising public discussions in these areas and has activated its local core groups to distribute leaflets with information on registration.
    • Mabvuku: Residents of Mabvuku were informed that the mobile registration centre servicing Mabvuku was based in Epworth and that they had to go to Epworth to get assistance. The only mobile centre discharged in the area was covering Tafara only. However, residents resisted going to Epworth sighting the costs involved. People did not have enough information on the requirements as well. In an endeavour to see people being registered, CHRA is mobilising people to take advantage of the conventional registration centre at Chizhanje.

    In summary the major issues affecting residents in registering as voters include but are not limited to:

    • Confusion surrounding the issuance of a proof of residence for one to register as a voter
    • RG’s request for affidavits as extra confirmation of proof of residence.
    • The call by the Chairperson of ZEC that without a proof of residence one can still register. It seems as if the message has not been officially cascaded down to the workers at the RG’s office.
    • Alien voter registration. The process still remains rigorous and many are turning away.
    • Slow service which only accommodates a very few people to register as voters in a day.
    • Some mobile centres are not operating within the stipulated 7am-7pm time frame as vetoed by the RG.
    • Limited voter registration centres simply makes it difficult and unnecessarily cumbersome for one to register. There is need for the provision of more centres to decongest the very few that have been allocated.

    The Association urges the ZEC to consider the issues in this statement and ensure that more residents are afforded an opportunity to register and vote in the oncoming elections. CHRA will continue to monitor this process and encourages residents to come out in their numbers to register and vote.

    Visit the CHRA fact sheet

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