THE Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) is mobilising resources to monitor the ongoing voter registration exercise amid admissions by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) that the programme has been chaotic.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
Confusion has characterised the exercise which on Monday saw Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai battle to register his 18-year- old twins to vote for the first time.
Ordinary citizens have also been battling to register as voters with scores of residents being sent away by Zec officials over lack of sufficient proof of residence, despite Cabinet directing officials to waive some of the requirements.
People classified as aliens have also not been spared despite another directive that they be registered as citizens of Zimbabwe.
There are concerns Zec presently has no capacity to effectively undertake such a massive voter registration exercise ahead of what analysts bill as watershed polls expected to bring closure to the acrimonious government of national unity between Zanu PF and the two formations of the MDC.
After successfully monitoring the March referendum on a new constitution, sources told NewsDay yesterday that Jomic, a creation of the Global Political Agreement, has set its sight on monitoring the ongoing voter registration exercise with a view of advising relevant electoral officials and bodies, including Zec, on how to move the process forward.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who holds the revolving chairpersonship of the monitoring body, yesterday said Jomic would start monitoring the voter registration process, but had been hamstrung by lack of resources.
“We are looking at mobilising resources to monitor the exercise, that is despite the fact that it is due to end on the 19th of this month” she said.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said with the coming of a new constitution, there was a provision for another 30-day voter registration exercise, which the body will monitor.
On Tuesday, Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the body was considering rolling out another phase of voter registration.
Makarau said she was “disheartened by the nature of the whole exercise”, adding that there was need to reorganise and restrategise.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF has made a U-turn and seconded 10 provincial liaison officers to Jomic, seven months after the other parties had done so.
Each party was mandated to submit a list of 10 members, but Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Zanu PF had not given an explanation for the change of heart.
“Has Zanu PF ever given any explanation for its actions?” she asked. “They are ashamed by their actions not to second members.
“They are fully aware that an extra-ordinary Sadc summit is coming soon, so they do not want to add the Jomic issue onto their long list of transgressions, hence they want to seem to be co-operating,” Mushonga said.