by Buhle Tshavango.
Members of the senate yesterday raised concern over the slow process at which preparations for the forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections were taking. The argument raised was since a new voting system was being introduced, voter registration and sufficient voter education should have been carried out by now.
Debating on a motion raised on the need for alignment of constitutional provisions by the Zimbabwe electoral commission (ZEC), Hon senator Khumalo said very little time was now left before the elections took place and people were still uneducated on the BVR voting system raising concern on whether this might affect the voting process.
“Looking at the time that we are left with before we conduct our elections, I think the pace that is being used in preparing for the forthcoming elections is so slow especially when we are looking at alignment with the new Constitution.
“My question will be when because we are taking so long to fix these things; we know that they have indicated that almost everyone has to go through the registration for the elections…When we look at the time that we are left with, we realise that we no longer have enough time. Therefore, this might lead to the forthcoming elections not being conducted properly” expressed senator Khumalo.
The delay in aligning constitutional provisions with the electoral process has cast doubt over the voting process as questions now arise on loopholes in last minute fast tracking of the whole process.
“We need to have enough time so that ZEC can educate people on the use of the biometric system. So many people are not sure on how the biometric system is going to be used and need to be educated on that. This will give confidence to all the voters for they will know that the biometric system is a very safe and good method to use when conducting elections”, added senator Khumalo.
ZEC has indicated that it will roll a 15 day voter education and registration exercise an amount of time that is not sufficient to adequately cover all the country’s 10 provinces.