ZEC goes on a national blitz

By Ranga Mataire

Harare – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will soon roll out a registration blitz where 3000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits are to be deployed throughout the country to ensure that every eligible voter is captured ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.

ZEC has to date only established 63 centres for the registration of voters since the commement of the first phase of the registration exercise.

Speaking on the sidelines of a media training workshop in Darwendale, just outside Harare, ZEC commissioner and chairperson of the media liaison committee Rejoice Kazembe said the deployment of the mobile units will start on October 15.

“Within the next 10 days or so, the latest being October 15, we are going to go national on the blitz.

We have just been using those 63 centres so that they don’t lie idle although we had 400.

” But we thought it prudent to begin at district centres where the district electoral officers and their personnel had been trained,” said Kazembe.

She said the 3000 BVR kits would stay at a place for 16 days before moving to another area.

Kazembe said the commission will soon be informing people of the mobile registration exercise and the actual places where the kits would be deployed.

Commenting on the progress achieved so far, Kazembe said the registration exercise which began on a slow start had picked up as people became aware of what is required to be captured as a voter.

“It was slow at the beginning as our voter registrars were getting acquainted with the machines. And also there was a slow process on the voters themselves with respect to the supply of information of their residence.

“They thought they could just come without proof of residence but we notice now that they are now coming with relevant documents in terms of bills, letters from the bank and debit cards, which actually show where they stay.”

She said some centres were now managing to register 100 people per day which is a marked improvement from the time the exercise began.

On whether there is a platform to address grievances from political parties, Kazembe said the commission had been meeting political parties and addressing their complaints, some of which had been published in the media.

“We have invited the media for this workshop so that it gets informed of what we are doing and we hope the media will disseminate the information through various outlets because we think what has been lacking is information,” said Kazembe.

She urged political parties  to attend the commission briefing updates saying some of the allegations from  some political parties don’t deserve a response.

ZEC is targeting to register 80 percent of the people eligible to vote.

The media training workshop was meant to provide an overview of the electoral legal framework governing ZEC mandate, including the electoral cycle and processes, electoral regulations and the BVR as provided for in the constitution of Zimbabwe and Acts of parliament.

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