HomeLocal NewsTsvangirai in registration nightmare

Tsvangirai in registration nightmare

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PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday had a nightmarish experience trying to get his children to register as voters when he came face-to-face with the bottlenecks endured by ordinary Zimbabweans wishing to go through the same process.

Report by Dumisani Sibanda

The MDC-T leader had gone to Mt Pleasant district offices accompanying his 18-year-old twins Vincent and Milcent, who intended to have their names on the voters’ roll to enable them to vote in the next elections.

To his horror, both of them were nearly turned away in his face for failing to produce proof of residence. The Prime Minister had to draft an impromptu affidavit confirming the two were his children and that they lived under the same roof with him at the same residential address at the government house in Highlands, Harare East constituency.

“Where are the affidavit forms?” Tsvangirai asked but got none, resulting in him writing on a piece of plain paper. “I also wonder if some of our old people will be able to go through this process.”

As if that was not enough, even after the Prime Minister’s children had successfully registered, the registration team insisted that the PM should still send someone to the voter registration centre with additional proof of the Premier’s residence.

When the NewsDay crew toured another mobile registration centre at Mwanandishe Primary School in Tafara, scores of potential voters were being turned away for failing to provide the required documents.

In some instances, elderly people who had previously been denied the right to vote as they were considered aliens were referred to the Home Affairs ministry to regularise their citizenship.

“I have been told to go to town to another office,” said 84-year-old Estella Zhoya, who had an identity document showing she is an alien. “I have been here since morning.”

The residents called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to set up more voter registration centres and to give people more time to register.

Last week, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said no prospective voters should be turned away for failing to produce proof of residence.

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