CIVIL society organisations (CSOs) yesterday demanded that the voter registration exercise be held in line with the provisions of the new constitution.
REPORT BY WONAI MASVINGISE
Representatives from 50 CSOs made the call just days after the chaotic mobile voter registration exercise ended on Sunday.
In a joint statement read by Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) chairperson Solomon Zwana, CSOs said the just-ended mobile voter registration could not replace the 30-day constitutionally mandated voter registration expected when the new constitution takes effect.
“Stakeholders should have unfettered access to the process, particularly CSOs pursuing their legitimate functions of sensitising (and) mobilising citizens to participate in the process,” he said in Harare.
Zwana said legal instruments guiding the issue of “aliens” and the issue of affidavit as proof of residence had to be publicised in order for the public to have full knowledge of the process.
“As a precondition to the aforementioned exercise, the public must be adequately informed of the process, and the requirements and the modalities prior to the commencement of the process,” Zwana said.
He said during the mobile voter registration exercise, CSOs spotted inconsistencies in procedure and requirements between voter registration centres.
“Some centres turned away prospective registrants who were ‘aliens’ or had opted for an affidavit as proof of residence, while some centres accepted prospective registrants in similar circumstances. Some centres were not issuing registration slips, asking prospective registrants to collect the slips the following day at a different centre,” Zwana said.
Zesn director Rindai Chipfunde Vava said CSOs had approached the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to discuss their position in carrying out voter education and monitoring the process.
“In terms of clearance, Zec yesterday (Monday) said there is no need for clearance. For voter education, they said they are ready to receive our applications to get clearance,” Vava said.
Listen to the podcast below: