Thursday, June 1, 2023

Bright start for 2nd phase mobile voter registration

Fredrick Moyo

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)’s second phase mobile voter registration blitz that commenced on April 11, 2022 took off to a bright start with Masvingo province recording 3 373 first time voters in the first week of the exercise while only 6 440 people registered to vote during the whole first phase.
The province has already recorded more than half of the people who registered to vote in the first phase of the blitz within seven days of commencing.
ZEC Deputy Provincial Election Officer (PEO) Maxwell Ncube confirmed that a total number of 3 373 came and registered to vote in all the 287 registration centers in the province during the first week, before encouraging people to take advantage of the on-going blitz and register to vote.
“On the ongoing blitz, we have initial registrants of 3 373 with 1 854 males and 1 519 females and we have also recorded 1 688 transfers with 885 males and 803 females. We also have 140 people who were turned away, 54 males and 86 females. These were turned away because some had no national Identity Documents (ID) cards as well as having defaced IDs while some were underage.
“We are encouraging people that have not yet registered to take advantage of the on-going blitz and register to vote,” said Ncube.
He attributed the increment of the figures to the merging that ZEC made with the Registrar General office where they have deployed ZEC officials where the Registrar General’s officials are issuing National Identity cards in the province.
“We are very happy with the figures and if we take a closer look, we have already registered more than half of the people that we registered during the first phase of the blitz and this is attributed to the merging that we did with the Registrar General’s office.
“We have actually deployed our officers with BVR kits where the Registrar General officers are issuing out National Identity cards which is one of the most crucial documents in the registration process so that when one has collected his/her ID, he/she can register to vote with our officials immediately,” said Ncube.
During the first phase of the mobile voter registration blitz only 6 440 first time voters registered to vote and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were not pleased with the turnout saying the figures are very low for the province as they are just a drop in the ocean.
The mobile registration exercise is meant to assist people in marginalized areas, those who have to walk long distances to access ZEC offices to register to vote.

…ZEC, Registrar General office merge in registration blitz

Fredrick Moyo

Electoral management body Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has merged with the Registrar General’s Office through holding concurrent national identity documents and voter registration blitzes, in a move aimed at increasing voter registration figures.
ZEC and the RG’s office are both currently holding registration blitzes countrywide with ZEC holding its second mobile voter registration exercise that began on April 11 up until April 30, 2022 while the RG office has a six months Identification Documents issuance blitz that began on April 1 and will run up to September 30, 2022.
Masvingo ZEC Deputy Provincial Elections Officer (PEO) Maxwell Ncube confirmed the amalgamation and said this will help increase voter registration figures as people register to vote as soon as they get their National Identity cards.
“What we did during this phase is that we have also deployed our team where there are Registrar General teams that is issuing IDs. All 24 RG teams that are deployed in Masvingo province have ZEC officials and we have actually attached one BVR kit with all RG’s teams that when one is getting his/her ID, he/she can register there and then.
“This is currently working for us as the registration figures are increasing and many first timer voters are coming and showing up and we have an increase that is around 148 percent on our 8th day as compared to the first blitz and we are positive that we will have a huge turnout in this phase,” said Ncube.
ZEC once postponed with immediate effect the registration blitz that was scheduled to start on December 6, 2021 stating that people had no documents needed in voter registration exercise.
Mobile voter registration is meant to assist people in marginalized areas who cannot easily access the offices to register to vote or collect crucial documents like National Identity Cards or birth certificates.

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