MP ropes in civil society in registration drive


ZENGEZA West MP Simon Chidhakwa (MDC-T) last week roped in civil society groups and churches on a two-day roadshow he organised in his constituency to mobilise residents to register, as most biometric voter registration centres in the area recorded a low turnout.


According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), at least one million potential voters had successfully registered by close of the first phase of the voter registration exercise last week, with most potential voters turned away over lack of requisite documents including proof of residence.

Chidhakwa said the two-day blitz, which ended on Friday, was being jointly led by MDC-T youths and the United Citizens Alliances (UCA).

“It’s just a road show, which is not political, to encourage mostly our young people who are not registering to vote. We have discovered that three-quarters of our youths have not registered to vote. The numbers we are getting from Zec at the moment are too far from what we had expected,” he said.

“I am targeting my constituency. We are going at every shopping centre. The message is clear, let’s go and register to vote. Yes, some people may be very disappointed. Probably what they expected did not happen that way, but change has to be effected by the people, particularly the youth.”

MDC-T national youth secretary-general Lovemore Chinoputsa said: “We are here to partner churches to encourage young people to vote and participate in electoral processes. We are going a step ahead, going to shopping centres, where young people usually mill around.”

UCA founder Joelson Mugari said they had targeted Zengeza because it had recorded the least number of registered voters.
MDC-T Chitungwiza provincial secretary Lloyd Damba said most eligible voters were lodgers, who were not aware that they could use signed affidavits as proof of residence to register.