HomeNewsOpposition cries foul, slams Zec for ‘shambolic’ BVR exercise

Opposition cries foul, slams Zec for ‘shambolic’ BVR exercise

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OPPOSITION political parties have slammed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for the shambolic, slow and unfriendly biometric voter registration (BVR) programme that started this week leaving “nasty” experiences particularly to residents of the metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo.

BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

They accused the commission of trying to frustrate the urban electorate, who for the last two decades have not voted for President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF.

MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu said the process had been painstakingly slow and “thoroughly” inefficient.

“At the Remembrance Drive district offices in Mbare, hundreds of aspiring voters had turned up as early as 6am on Wednesday morning, September 20, 2017, but, however, by midday, less than 50 people had been able to register as voters,” he said.

“Zec should openly admit that so far, the BVR system, particularly in urban areas, has been nothing short of shambolic. Be that as it may, the MDC would like to call upon Zimbabweans to be patient and to turn out in their millions to register to vote.”

The spokesperson for the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, Kurauone Chihwayi, said the process was not friendly to the majority of the urban electorate, who are in the informal sector.

“The process is definitely not friendly to members of the community who have tight schedules like the self-employed and this may ultimately lead to their disenfranchisement as they give up on pursuing the process to completion,” he said.

People’s Democratic Party spokesman Jacob Mafume was of the view that the chaos was being deliberately engineered to cause disenfranchisement in the urban areas.

“Some of the problems observed at various registration centres are not only a sign of being ill-prepared, but in our view, a deliberate ploy between Zanu PF and Zec to frustrate Zimbabweans who want to vote against impunity, mediocrity and failure,” he said.

The parties called on Zec to immediately take delivery of the remaining 2 400 BVR kits and improve the level of service they are giving to the electorate.

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) and independent Mt Pleasant candidate Advocate Fadzayi Mahere have organised private commissioners of oath to help people who do not have proof of residence to register.

“The campaign has arranged commissioners (of oath) for Saturday (tomorrow at Mbare). Please come and register to vote,” Mahere said on social media platform Twitter.

ERC has also made a similar call to lawyers who would want to volunteer to act as commissioners of oath at registration centres to come forward.

Currently, there are only 63 centres carrying the voter registration process nationally.

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