Thousands denied vote

Thousands of potential voters will not be able to cast ballots in the crucial national election on July 31 because they have been denied a chance to register as voters.

JOHN NYASHANU

The registration exercise ended yesterday with many thousands of people still struggling, but without success, to get registered because — as witnessed by NewsDay teams in a survey of registration centres around the country — the process was moving at a snail’s pace while long queues of prospective voters remained stagnant.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), which is responsible for the registration of voters, said the registration period would not be extended.

Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, however, said those that were in the queue on the last day of registration yesterday would all be served.

Ordinarily, the registration exercise ended at 19:00hrs daily, but Zec said they would bust the deadline to accommodate
everybody that would still be in the queues after that time.

“All persons who will be in the queues at the time of closing shall be served because this is the close of this important window for Zimbabweans to register to vote,” she said.

She, however, ruled out extension of the deadline.

“Tonight the final voters’ roll for this election closes and this means any person not captured by tomorrow (today) will not be able to participate,” she said at a Press conference in the capital yesterday.

The registration process is ongoing, but the deadline for people to register in order to be able to vote in this election was last night at 19:00hrs.

When NewsDay visited various registration centres across Harare on the closing day yesterday, thousands of aspiring voters could be seen milling at the registration centres, desperate to be included on the voters’ roll. Urban centres are known strongholds of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party.

At the Registrar General’s offices in Highfield, only 66 people out of several hundreds had been registered from opening of the centre at 7:00am up to 2pm when our news crew arrived. This implied that only 10 people were being registered per hour.

Hordes of frustrated people were seen sun-bathing and complaining loudly.

“I came here at 7am, but up until now I have not even been issued with a (queue) number. I do not see myself registering, much as it was my wish to cast my vote,” said Munyaradzi Maseko, a resident from Highfield’s Lusaka section.

At the Registrar General’s Office at Market Square, officials had by midday issued queue holding cards to over 500 aspiring voters waiting to be served at around midday. Outside the centre, an estimated 1 000 others were still waiting to get their chance.

“This is my third day coming here to register, but to no avail. They (Zec) should simply tell us that we should not waste our time. Don’t we have rights as citizens to vote for leaders of our choice?” asked an angry aspiring voter, Stanley Chipendo, who had travelled from Dzivarasekwa to the city to register.

The situation was much the same at Budiriro Community Hall where only 76 potential voters had been issued with queue tickets by 13:00hrs and only a handful of these had been served. Several hundred were still waiting outside the centre.

There was pushing and shoving when one Zec official came over with some few more tickets and people stampeded to try and grab them.
Contacted for comment, MDC–T national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora accused the Registrar General’s Office and the Central Intelligence Organisation of being behind the chaos, saying it was part of a grand strategy to disenfranchise perceived MDC-T supporters and ensure a Zanu PF victory.

“The real problem lies with the RG and CIOs. (Justice) Rita Makarau does not have powers to tell the RG what to do. She is being undermined by the two institutions and is not to blame for the chaos we are witnessing,” Mwonzora said.

Asked what his party would do about it, Mwonzora said: “We do have our clear strategic option, but I will not divulge it now. We will cross the bridge when we get there.”

MDC deputy national spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said his party did not have a solution to the disenfranchisement of the urban populace.
“It’s unfortunate we are dealing with an unfaithful partner. It’s unfortunate those running Zec and CIOs won’t cooperate. Most of our members have failed to register,” he said.

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19 Responses to Thousands denied vote

  1. Alisha Kanengoni July 10, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    This was what ZANUPF wanted and hapana chakaipa chisingafi chakabuda pachena

  2. jaku July 10, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Remember what happened in 2008 during the voting process.The urban areas had fewer voting centres. This is going to happen again. ZANU PF supporters are going to join the queues early and slow the process until closing time.

  3. sei zvichidaro July 10, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    They have never wanted people to register and vote they know very well that no one likes them even their own supporters are bussed to their rallies,the stakes are high in this election for democratic forces to sleep a wink we need all the mdcs and civic organisations to push very hard against all these forces of darkness trying to rig the election.If Zanu pf can rig its own election it tells what a mafia movement it is ready to protect their loot of the past 33 yrs.Vana vavo vawanda nekudya zvemarema,dumbu ravo rakura nekudya zvemarema,varombo voshandiswa pasina muripo” reminds me of the late Dewa who was an mdc cadre as well

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  5. Pope Francis II July 10, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    ZanuPF ndo kuti mboko, these bastards will do anything to protect their loot, but this time havalume! the people’s choice will stand, i witnessed it, tea-break of 45 minutes whist people arewaiting in queues, its not fair.

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  7. bellamime July 10, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    the solution is for those voting for the president to use their id and vote even if they have not registered,only those to vote mps and councillors would need to be on the voters roll otherwise father will win again.

  8. Dali T July 10, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Why do people have to register as voter, dont they have a database with all the people in ZImbabwe, why do I need to produce a proof of residence, if I am a holder of a Zimbabwe National ID card. Always trying to find loopholes

  9. sofia July 10, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    I blame MDCs instead of doing a voter registration drive they were hoodwinked into chasing thin air hee SADC hee ConCourt nguva ichipera – where were all these people to now rush on last day? nxaaa

  10. Mangundu July 10, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Even on election day,zanu pf voters are going to join the line very early,served but then come to rejoin the line to simply delay and frustrate the process.So everyone try to come early on election day.Dont wait for last minute voting.

  11. realist July 10, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    voter registration has been open for months and people want scramble on the last day, then you start making up conspiracies. these people should have registered in time, don’t blame ZEC

  12. moto July 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Why rush for elections when people have not been registered. What’s the reason for elections then. MDC just pull out till everyone is registered. Nonsense.

  13. Tinzweiwo Baba July 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Baba muzita ramambo Jesu, isu vana venyu, saDavid, HATIDI kuva muruoko rwemunhu asi rwenyu. Rangarirai kune nherera neshirikadzi vari kuchema imi mukasavarwira nekuti rwira tose ndiani achatirwira. Aiwa Baba tariro yedu ndimi. Thank u Lord 4 setting us free. In Jesus Name l prayed. AMEN

    • walter July 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      Amen

  14. egnosis July 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    This is exactly what Chief Injustice Godfrey Chidyausiku and Tobaiwa Mudede wanted. These old evil folks will be smiling all the way to the polling station come 31 July. Thousands have been denied their constitutionally enshrined right to chose a leader of their choice just because of one moron by the name Jealous Mawarire. So sad the things that happen in Zim. Its so sad to see how political and power hungry individuals use the illiterate, the intelligence & wisdom bankrupt folks to further their interests. It reminds me of the book Animal Farm, how the pigs used the foolish and ignorant sheep to further their interest. Africa, despite it’s great wealth in vast natural resources will forever remain poor because of short sighted, vision less, power hungry and selfish leaders as well as low levels of education which deny many the ability to make proper informed decisions.

  15. Jojo July 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Its not a last mnute rush, we tried 4 consecutive days, we failed, n we were hopeful last nyt but alas, its a strategy to all percived mdc t strongholds, cio are nw busy victimizing those registering late as they are labelled mdcs . Is that democracy, come 31 the same strategy is employed, Mdc wat a u doing on this, don be fooled, mwonzora tell us your strategy.

  16. Mbuya Rotina (Diesel Exploratory Services) July 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Lets vote these cowards OUT !!!
    Takasara tichirwisa ana Smith muno mu then Rhodesia magwara atizira ku Mozambique

  17. Stop-a-Thief July 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Ndiani achirikuda Mugabe & zanupf??

  18. TITO July 11, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Wait until the actual day of vote casting thats when people will realise who is charge, also note the observer status granted to countries like Cuba,Russia,Venezuela ,China and etc. Countries on flipside of DEMOCRACY

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