THE new 30-day mandatory voter registration exercise will begin next week, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has said.
REPORT BY FELUNA NLEYA
This follows the resent assenting of the new constitution by President Robert Mugabe last week.
Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day workshop with faith-based organisations in Harare yesterday, Zec deputy chairperson Joyce Letitia Kazembe said all the 1 958 wards will be covered.
“We need to conduct the voter registration exercise at each ward and we are hoping to start this by next week,” Kazembe said. “We require $21 million for the voter registration which should start next week, we have not set the dates yet, but hopefully by next week we should start. We need to have all the 1 958 wards having a team there for voter registration.”
The trial mobile voter registration exercise which ended on May 19 was marred by chaos, resulting in thousands of potential voters failing to register.
Church leaders who attended the workshop raised concern over voter education which they said was important as most of the people were not aware what voting was all about and how to vote.
Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe Bishop Francis Mafuta said: “Zec should penetrate the rural areas. They know that these people will be victimised and intimidated so there is need for them to be educated that they have the right to vote for any party they choose, even if they are intimidated.”
Union for the Development Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe Africa leader Reverend Edison Tsvakai said the workshop provided an opportunity to learn about the electoral processes.
Responding to the concerns, Kazembe said there was need for voter education and Zec had engaged civil society organisations and churches to assist in carrying out the exercise.
Kazembe said Zec would train accredited civic organisations to equip them with the requisite skills to conduct the voter education exercise.