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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
regarding voter registration exercise and the new citizenship provisions
May 31, 2013
View this article
on David Coltart's website here
have asked me recently about voter
registration and the new citizenship provisions. There have
also been major problems encountered by some in getting registered.
In terms of the new Constitution
which should become law this week every citizen is entitled to be
registered to vote and many whose citizenship had been taken away
will be allowed to become citizens again and then have the right
to register as voters.
At page 166,
Sixth Schedule (Commencement of the Constitution, Transitional Provisions
and Savings), under Part 3 (First Elections) point 6 (Registration
of Voters) of the new Constitution, which as I say should become
law this week, it states that:
person who has lawfully registered as a voter on a voters’
roll immediately before publication day (date when Constitution
is enacted) is entitled to remain so registered for the purposes
of the First Elections.
2. For the purposes of the first elections, the Registrar General
of Voters is responsible, under supervision of the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission, for registering voters and compiling voters’ roll.
3. The registrar General of Voters, under the supervision of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must conduct a special and intensive
voter registration and a voters’ roll inspection exercise
for at least 30 days after the publication day.”
day” is the day the President signs and gazettes the new Constitution
into law which should be this Wednesday the 15th May 2013. That
is when this new phase of voter registration must begin and I urge
all to go and get registered if you aren’t already on the
What is equally
critical are the new citizenship provisions in particular sections
36 and 43 of the new Constitution. In short these sections restore
an absolute birth right. In short if a person was born in Zimbabwe
and has at least one parent who was either born in Zimbabwe or in
any SADC country (obviously including Zambia, Malawi and South Africa)
then they are as of right entitled to be registered as a citizen
and then are entitled to be registered as a voter. All one needs
to do is take a long birth certificate (which shows where your parents
were born) to the Registrar General’s office and have your
ID changed from alien to citizen. They are obliged to do it immediately
and for FREE. You cannot be forced any longer to renounce citizenship
of South Africa etc to get your Zimbabwean citizenship simply because
a parent was born there. Once you are a citizen by birth in Zimbabwe
it is an absolute right and citizenship of another country is no
bar to the retention of your Zimbabwean citizenship acquired as
a result of that birth right.
ID has been changed from alien to citizen you can then be registered
to vote subject to proof of residence, for this you will need a
rates account or anything which shows where you live. If you do
not have any such proof then ask the RG’s office for the standard
affidavit form (approved by Cabinet last week) in which one can
simply swear before a commissioner of oaths what one’s address
that there may be many who will now want to register and this may
involve time. However every vote is critically important and now
is not the time for people to be apathetic. Please would you do
this yourself, but also share this and encourage every person you
know who was born in Zimbabwe (and has a parent who was either born
here or in a SADC country) to get their ID changed and then get
registered as a voter.
The future of
Zimbabwe depends on ensuring that everyone who is entitled to vote
is registered to vote, and then votes.
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