Why voter registration might experience delays

By Nkanyiso Ncube

Biometric Voter Registration exercise which was scheduled to commence today (14 September 2017), is now expected to start on Monday.

The change in dates follows the official launch of the BVR kits by President Robert Mugabe at State House.

Using powers vested in him by Section 36 A (1) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13), the President had intended for the exercise to kick off today and ending on January 15th 2018.

However, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced that the process will now being at all its district offices where the kits will be permanently stationed from Monday 18th of September.

Today’s BVR launch saw, President Mugabe, First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe and the two Vice Presidents going through the registration process.

Below are some of the possible reasons that might delay the voter registration exercise

Lack of voter education: the voter registration exercise is expected to be rolled out to all the countries provinces, districts and wards on Monday next week; however, ZEC hasn’t started awareness campaigns to inform people of the exercise. Most people in rural areas and those who do not receive radio and television signal are still clueless on this development. Could ZEC still catch up with this time frame?

BVR kits: Earlier this month Justice Rita Makarau had said the election board had procured 3000 kits whilst to date they have only received the first batch of 400 kits.

Identity cards and birth certificates: The Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede announced that his office was going to roll out a three-month mobile registration exercise for those who have no national identity cards. The announcement was received with mixed feelings as most people expressed displeasure on the timing as it coincides with the voter registration. Questions have been raised as to whether they will be fast enough to issue the ID to enable people to register without delays.

 

 

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