HomeLocal NewsVoter registration in shambles

Voter registration in shambles

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CONFUSION was the order of the day at a mobile voter registration site in Pumula, as some prospective voters were being turned away for failure to produce proof of residence documents.

Report by Pamela Mhlanga

Recently the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced that it was waiving the requirements that prospective voters provide proof of residence and instead said they would provide affidavits confirming their places of residence.

Zec said this would help ensure that no one was turned away from registering as a voter.

However, some residents of Pumula claimed that they were still being turned away and were now confused as to what to do.

One Pumula resident, Mzobanzi Moyo, said the Zec officials demanded his proof of residence and he was turned away after failing to provide the required documents.

He said he was not given an option to sign an affidavit.

Sidanisile Moyo, who managed to register, said the Zec officials had demanded that she produce proof of residence.

“I have registered for the elections. I was not turned away because I came prepared with my proof of residence that the officials required,” she said.

A Zec official insisted that proof of residence was required, saying they did not have the affidavits that had recently been approved by Cabinet.

“We require residents to produce proof of residence such as water bills and if one is a tenant that person has to produce a written letter from the owner of the house,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

A male guard who was at Pumula Hall assisting applicants with the voter registration requirements told them that proof of residence was required before they got into the hall to register.

“Yes, proof of residence is required when you are registering, I hope you have it,” he replied to one resident, Kenneth Ndlovu, who had quizzed him over the requirement.

An affidavit form is set to be gazetted this week, which allows people who do not have proof of residence documentation to swear before a commissioner of oaths what their address is. A number of people had claimed they were lodgers and could not get the required proof of residence.

Zec spokesperson Shupikai Mashereni was said to be in meetings throughout yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

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