By Pretty Chavango
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) acting chairperson Commissioner Emmanuel Magade has said their target of registering seven million voters for the upcoming 2018 general elections was an ‘extravagant ambition’.
The admission comes soon after ZEC released final figures of the voter registration exercise which revealed that it had missed the mark by a long shot.
Addressing the media at a press conference, Commissioner Magade said their target was quite ambitious as most people from the 13 million Zimbabwe population have not yet reached the legal age of majority age and are therefore not able to vote whilst others are in the diaspora.
Magade revealed that ZEC will be conducting a mop-up voter registration exercise to capture those who missed the opportunity due to various reason.
“…ZEC embarked on a national BVR exercise during the period running from 14 September 2017 to 19 December 2017.This exercise resulted in a provisional total of 4 879 482 voters being registered countrywide. During the same period, the Registrar general also embarked on a nationwide exercise issuing national identity cards, birth and death certificates as well as other documents related to the civil registration.
“The voter and civil registration exercises were initially not synchronised resulting in some people being left out of the voter registration blitz. After observing this challenge and representations from various stakeholders on the BVR exercise , the Commission is of the same view that a mop up exercise be conducted to afford every Zimbabwean an opportunity to register to vote in order for them to exercise their political rights,” he said.
The mop up exercise will start on the 10th of January 2018 up till the 8th of February 2018 in the country’s 10 provinces targeting mostly areas where the registrar general’s teams are currently deployed and where Ids were issued after the BVR blitz exercise.
A total o 2 850 mobile and 87 static registration centres will be established.
The mop-up exercises offer a chance for those previously disqualified as aliens to register to vote. The requirements for one to register as a voter during this mop up exercise are one’s ID, proof of residence and should be aged 18 and above.