‘Registration slip not proof of being on voter’s roll’

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday said it is not automatic that a registered voter is drafted onto the voter’s roll as they have to authenticate the identities of registrants.

The electoral body said it meticulously verifies all those who register to vote before including them on the voter’s roll.
Responding to questions from the media at a Press conference in Victoria Falls yesterday, Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla

Chigumba said some registered voters are not included on the voter’s roll because of problems with their national documents.

“In some instances what we discover is that when we do our verification process, we discover that some people are double registrants at two different centres. And we might discover that there are four pictures with different names, but the same ID numbers. Which means one or two or three of them will be flagged for not having authentic ID documents,” said Justice Chigumba.

“So please understand that having a voter registration slip is not proof that your name is on the voter’s roll. It’s proof that you have registered to vote and we then vet your documents and you have no idea the number of issues that arise. It is not surprising that out of 50 people who register, a lot of them will have issues and their names will not automatically go onto the voter’s roll until those issues are resolved. Some of the issues are easily resolved and some issues are not easily resolved.”

She said the electoral body will start cleaning the voter’s roll before starting the delimitation process.

Justice Chigumba said the delimitation process determines the number of constituencies each province will have ahead of the 2023 harmonised polls.

It has previously been reported that Matabeleland region risks losing some constituencies due to voter apathy, and Justice Chigumba urged the public to register to vote so that they do not lose constituencies ahead of the 2023 polls.

She said Zec will deploy mobile registration teams even to remote areas so that more people can register to vote.

“Delimitation is informed by the number of registered voters in each constituency. So, if we increase the number of registered voters, that is one way in which a province can avoid losing some constituencies if it has a high number of registered voters,” said Justice Chigumba.

“When we roll out the kit deployment plan for the voter registration, all those areas that were said to be remote and difficult to access, people cannot travel long distances to come to our permanent district offices, we will be sending mobile kits into those areas during specified times and dates, which will be advised in advance and hopefully we will get registrants coming up in high numbers to register. The solution to the problem is having more registrants coming up to register if they want to retain their seats.”

She said the delimitation exercise will be conducted after the census report is tabled in Parliament.

The national census will be conducted in April this year.

“The reason we will have the blitz in two stages, one in February and another in April, is that we want to clean the voter’s roll for the purposes of delimitation. Because we anticipate that the delimitation process will be started August 2022, which is when the final census report will be tabled before Parliament,” said Justice Chigumba.

“We do voter registration and start cleaning the data and determining who should be on the voter’s roll and who doesn’t have authentic documents. So, after the April voter registration blitz, that is the final blitz that we will use to have registered voters inform the delimitation process. But remember voter registration will continue.” – @nqotshili.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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