Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has registered one million voters countrywide and the commission is well on course to register all qualifying registrants in the country.
The commission’s public relations director Mr Justin Manyau yesterday said he was happy with progress in the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise.
“We have reached the one million voter registration mark and we’re confident that we’ll be able to register all the people that qualify to vote.
“The Commission would like to inform the public that it has the capacity to register all eligible voters if they turn up for registration during the remaining three phases,” said Mr Manyau in a statement.
He said phase two of the BVR blitz will start on Sunday and end on November 13, 2017 while the third phase starts on November 16, 2017 and ends on December 1, 2017.
The fourth phase, Mr Manyau said will start on December 4, 2017 and end on December 19, 2017.
He said the commission had embarked on intensive voter education campaigns on 12 radio stations in the country as part of their awareness programme to ensure that all eligible people register to vote.
“This involves flighting messages on six national and six regional radio stations. Road shows are also being conducted in areas covered by the voter registration exercise while a call centre to deal with voter registration queries has been established at the Zec Head Office in Harare.
“Buddie line users are being advised to phone toll free number 08080265 while NetOne subscribers can phone on toll free number 08010265. The Telecel toll free number is 265,” said Mr Manyau.
He said that Zec was also sending out bulk SMS voter education messages on mobile phones.
“In addition, the commission has voter educators on the ground while some civil society organisations are collaborating with the Commission on voter education,” said Mr Manyau.
According to Zec’s cumulative voter registration statistics, provinces in Matabeleland region have the least number of registered voters with Bulawayo registering 29 503 voters against a provincial Zimstat 2018 projected voter registration of 409 389 as at Sunday October 22, 2017.
In Matabeleland North only 37 292 people had registered to vote against a projected voter population of 389 592 while in Matabeleland South 37 151 voters had registered against an expected 356 586.
Manicaland province had 143 770 registered voters which was the highest. The province’s projected voter registration is 912 762 voters.
Harare had registered 139 300 voters while Mashonaland Central had registered 106 603 and Mashonaland East had 135 148.
In Mashonaland West 66 105 people had registered, Masvingo had 122 332 and Midlands 135 647.
The report also revealed that a total of 22 328 people had been turned away due to various reasons.
These include failure to produce proof of residence, producing defaced identity documents and producing driver’s licences instead of national identity cards
Mr Manyau urged members of the public to produce valid and correct documents when registering to vote.
“The law stipulates age, citizenship and proof of residence as requirements for voter registration. The people who are being turned away are not complying with these requirements.
“Some of those turned away are coming back once they get the relevant documentation, especially proof of residence,” said Mr Manyau. He said these issues are being tackled through voter education and publicity campaigns.
“We’re urging the electorate to comply with voter registration requirements and prepare their documentation in advance,” he said.
Zec is targeting to register at least seven million voters by the end of the BVR exercise and a total 9 663 voter registration centres were established across the country.
Article Source: The Chronicle