ZANU PF and the two MDC parties have finally agreed on something, resolving at the weekend to push the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to extend the biometric voter registration (BVR) programme by two months to allow for a mopping-up exercise.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The ruling party, on one hand, and MDC-T and MDC, on the other hand, hardly ever concur on anything, but on Saturday they agreed that there was need to extend the voter registration exercise.
MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the development yesterday, saying they decided to engage Zec after receiving concerns from various parts of the country that many eligible voters might not have registered when the final phase winds up on December 19.
“We are moving together as an inter-party team comprising Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC. These are the parties in Parliament. We have been assessing the biometric registration programme and getting feedback from the political parties’ representatives,” he said.
“We are in agreement that voter registration be extended by two months in all the areas and specifically that it must continue even during the festive season so as to deal with those who are coming from the Diaspora.”
Mwonzora said some of the reasons for the underwhelming turnout at registration centres were Zec’s stringent requirements and its decision to bar so-called aliens from participating in the process.
“The figures that we received are far from pleasing,” he said.
“There is going to be apathy. We recently won the case on aliens and the judgment came nearly at the end of phase three, therefore, there are a lot of people left out.
“We will meet on Wednesday (tomorrow) with Zec to discuss the matter.”
Zanu PF deputy legal secretary Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana also confirmed the resolution saying: “We have received reports from liaison officers in the three political parties. Each province has its own challenges, but by and large there is a request to extend the period. We will engage Zec at national level with that request.
“So far the average registration is less than 60%, some provinces like Matabeleland South are on 40% which we regard as poor. The period of extension can be between a month and two months, but we will negotiate with Zec. We will meet Zec on Wednesday and present our findings and recommendations.”