Voter registration centre closes 2 hours early


HARARE – Scores of people were left out of the voter registration exercise as officials from the Registrar General is department closed two hours early.

Instead of closing the mobile voter registration at 7pm as had been advised in the media, officials from the RG’s office in Southerton closed doors at 4pm, much to the chagrin of people queuing and hoping to register as voters.

The just-ended mobile voter registration exercise was dogged by chaos and impediments leaving out thousands of people who wanted to register as voters.

Although Cabinet has agreed on a fresh 30-day mobile voter registration extension which is also provided in the new constitution now awaiting Mugabe’s assent after sailing through Parliament last week, political parties say the 30 days should be increased.

Welshman Ncube’s MDC yesterday called for the extension of the 30-day period of intensive mobile voter registration provided for in the new constitution to make sure every eligible voter is registered.

Ncube’s MDC secretary for legal affairs David Coltart said to honour the constitutional right of every Zimbabwean, government should do everything in its power to make sure every eligible voter is registered.

“It makes far more sense to extend that period to ensure that all people eligible to vote are registered.

This can be done if we take all the pressure off the current process by reaching a consensus to hold the elections after the UNWTO Assembly has been concluded,” he said in a press statement.

The lifespan of the current Parliament lapses on June 29 and Zanu PF is adamant that polls will be held soon after that date since government cannot operate without the other tier.

“Given the huge numbers of people turned away during the current exercise and the funding limitations, it seems highly unlikely that this fundamental constitutional right can be honoured within this minimum period of 30 days set out in the new constitution,” Coltart said.

Zanu PF however, said they had done their part in mobilising people to vote and will continue doing so, saying the voter registration had “gone well.”

“We are still urging people to continue registering to vote at district offices but the responsibility lies with Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) and the RG’s (Registrar General)office to either start a fresh mobile voter registration or not,” Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said.

Zec last week said they would be commencing a fresh 30-day voter registration after publication of the new constitution with at least $21 million required. – Bridget Mananavire

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