Voter registration functions of commission
Below is an outline of the Voter registration functions of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as drafted by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) in the recently launched Draft Comprehensive Electoral Amendment Bill.
Commission to prepare voters rolls
After determining, in terms of section 83, the places where polling stations are to be situated and the areas to be served by those polling stations, the Commission shall prepare a voters roll for each polling station area in accordance with this Part.
Voter registration to be conducted continuously
Voter registration shall be conducted on a continuous basis so as to keep the voters rolls up-to-
For the purposes of subsection (1), every person claiming to be a voter shall be entitled, at any
time while the voters roll is open, to lodge a claim for registration as a voter or for the transfer of
registration as a voter in terms of this Act—
(a) during normal working hours on any working day, in the case of a registration office; or
(b) during the period when a mobile voter registration facility is operating in the area where the
voter wishes to be registered as a voter, or from or to which he or she wishes to be transferred
as a voter.
Commission to register voters
(1) In this section —
“former Registrar-General of Voters” means the member of the Civil Service who has custody and
control of any voters rolls, databases and records, or any copies thereof, which—
(a) were in the custody and under the control of the Registrar-General of Voters immediately
before the 1st July, 2016, being the date of commencement of the General Laws
Amendment Act, 2016 (No. 3 of 2016); and
(b) have not been transferred to the custody and control of the Commission;
“Registrar-General of Births and Deaths” means the person referred to in section 3(a) of the Births
and Deaths Registration Act [Chapter 5:02];
“Registrar-General of Citizenship” means the person referred to in section 3 of the Citizenship of
Zimbabwe Act 25 [Chapter 4:01];
“Registrar-General of National Registration” means the person referred to in 3(a) of the National
Registration Act [Chapter 10:17].
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Commission may–
(b) with the consent of the Civil Service Commission, instruct any member of the Civil Service to
assist it in any of its voter registration functions in terms of this Act;
(c) in relation to an election to which Part XXII applies, delegate any of its voter registration
functions in terms of this Act, the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] or the Urban
Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] to a member of the Civil Service.
(3) The Commission, the former Registrar-General of Voters, the Registrar-General of Births and
Deaths, the Registrar-General of Citizenship and the Registrar-General of National Registration, have a duty to cooperate with each other to ensure that their respective databases, as they relate to the
eligibility or potential eligibility of voters, are in harmony with each other.
(4) The Commission may, after consultation with the Minister and the former Registrar-General of
Voters, by regulations made in terms of this section, provide for—
(a) the manner of dealing with any confidential information in the custody of the former Registrar-
General of Voters and the conditions under which it shall be shared with the Commission; and
(b) the resolution of any discrepancies between the records of the former Registrar-General of
Voters and those of the Commission; and
(c) the resolution of any disputes whatsoever that may arise between the Commission and the
former Registrar-General of Voters; and
(d) mandatory automatic and electronic voter registration.
Voter registration officers and registration offices
(1) Voter registration shall be conducted by the Commission through its voter registration officers
who shall be employees of the Commission and who may be appointed to this office conjunctively with any other office as an electoral officer or any persons whom the Commission may from time to time appoint to assist in voter registration.
(3) Voter registration officers shall exercise the functions conferred upon them by or under this Act
under the general supervision and direction of the Commission.
(4) A person seeking registration as a voter may approach any of the registration offices of the
Commission for registration as a voter during the period specified in section 21(2).
(5) The Commission shall from time to time give public notice of the location of its registration
Voters rolls to be kept by Commission
(1) The Commission shall keep and maintain in printed and electronic form a voters roll for each
polling station area, containing the names of all registered voters who may vote in that area.
(2) A voters roll shall specify, in relation to each registered voter—
(a) the voter’s first and last names, date of birth, national registration number and sex; and
(b) the place where the voter ordinarily resides; and
(c) where the voter, through being illiterate or physically handicapped, requires assistance in
exercising his or her vote, a note of that fact in the prescribed form; and
(d) such other information as may be prescribed or as the Commission considers appropriate.
(3) Subject to subsection (2), a voters roll shall be in such form as may be prescribed or as the
Commission considers appropriate:
Provided that every roll shall be kept in both printed and electronic form.
(4) The Commission shall—
(a) keep at least one copy of every voters roll at its head office; and
(b) keep at least one copy of the voters roll for every polling station area within a constituency at all
the Commission’s offices within the constituency concerned:
Provided that where there is no office of the Commission within the constituency concerned,
the voter registration officer shall have charge and custody of the ward and constituency voters
roll for his or her constituency;
(c) keep at least one copy of a consolidated national voters roll at its head office.
(5) The Commission may prepare and maintain, in printed or electronic form, a consolidated
national voters roll and a consolidated voters roll for any constituency or ward, but such rolls shall not be used for the purposes of polling in any election.
(6) In the event of any discrepancy between an electronic copy of a voters roll and a printed copy of
a voters roll, the latter shall be deemed to be the authentic record of the voters roll.
25 Inspection of voters rolls and provision of copies
(1) Every voters roll and every consolidated roll referred to in section 24(5) shall be a public
document and open to inspection by the public, free of charge, during ordinary office hours at the office of the Commission or the registration office where it is kept.
(2) A person inspecting any voters roll in terms of subsection (1) may, without removing the roll
from the office where it is kept—
(a) photograph or make a copy of the roll or any part of it; and
(b) make written notes of anything contained in it.
(3) The Commission shall without delay provide any person who requests it, and who pays the
prescribed fee, with a copy of any voters roll, including a consolidated roll referred to in section 24(5), either in printed or in electronic form as the person may request.
(4) Within a reasonable period of time after the calling of an election, the Commission shall
provide, on payment of the prescribed fee, to every political party that intends to contest the election, and to any observer who requests it for one copy of every voters roll to be used in the election, either in printed or in electronic form as the party or observer may request.
(5) Fees prescribed for the purposes of subsection (3) or (4) shall not exceed the reasonable cost of
providing the voters roll concerned.
(6) Without delay after nomination day in an election, the Commission shall provide—
(a) free of charge, to every nominated candidate, one copy in electronic form of the voters roll to be
used in the election for which the candidate has been nominated; and
(b) at the request of any nominated candidate, and on payment of the prescribed fee, one copy in
printed form of the voters roll to be used in the election for which the candidate has been
(7) Where a voters roll is provided in electronic form in terms of subsection (3), (4) or (6), its
format shall be such as allows its contents to be searched and analysed:
(i) the roll may be formatted so as to prevent its being altered or otherwise tampered with;
(ii) the Commission may impose reasonable conditions on the provision of the roll to prevent it
from being used for commercial or other purposes unconnected with an election.
(8) For the purposes of any election the Commission shall, through the appropriate voter
registration officer, supply to every polling station sufficient copies of the voters roll and a copy of the roll shall be displayed in an accessible place at each polling station for inspection by voters wishing to do so to confirm their registration for voting at that polling station.
(9) Any person who, having been provided with a voters roll in terms of this section—
(a) alters the voters roll, that is to say, excises any name from, adds any name to or otherwise alters
the voters roll with intent to misrepresent to any person that the altered voters roll is the
authentic voters roll for any election; or
(b) without the prior written consent of the Commission, makes use of the voters roll for
commercial or other purposes unconnected with an election;
shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
Powers to demand information
In the performance of his or her duties under this Act, a voter registration officer shall at all times
have the power—
(a) to demand from any claimant any information reasonably necessary to enable the voter
registration officer to ascertain whether the claimant is qualified to be registered as a voter or to
ascertain his or her place of residence;
(b) to demand from any person any information reasonably necessary to enable the voter
registration officer to ascertain whether a voter or a claimant is qualified to be registered as a
voter or to ascertain the place of residence of any voter or claimant or whether any voter or
claimant is dead;
(c) to require any voter or claimant to answer such reasonable questions as will enable the voter
registration officer to complete a prescribed form of claim in accordance with section 28.