BULAWAYO – Close to 50,000 new voters were registered between February 1 and 20, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has revealed.
ZEC is on a month-long mobile voter registration outreach which runs until February 28. The exercise has been hampered by apathy, which opposition political parties blame on the government’s failure to issue identity cards to young voters who turned 18 since the last election in 2018.
In a statement on Tuesday, ZEC said: “As at February 20, 2022, 49,636 people registered to vote in the country with 26,780 male and 22,856 female.”
Harare province accounted for most of the new voters – 16,437 – while Matabeleland North had the least with 2,091, ZEC said.
Zimbabwe is currently issuing a small number of IDs per day – less than 20 in Bulawayo – citing a shortage of imported materials used in the production of identity cards. The government says it is too broke to sustain imports.
The Home Affairs ministry recently hired a corruption-linked Lithuanian company Garsu Pasaulis to take over the production of all biometric documents including passports and identity cards.
The ministry says Garsu Pasaulis, which has already started passport production, will have secured ID production equipment in late March. It says teams will spread out across the country issuing IDs, just as ZEC embarks on its second mobile voter registration campaign in April.