Low turnout mars voter registration exercise

0
344
Jasper Mangwana

BY SHARON BUWERIMWE
THE second phase of the mobile voter registration exercise began on a low note yesterday in different parts of the country with very few people turning up.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold general elections in 2023.

The voter registration exercise will run until April 30.  In the first phase in February, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) registered 81 724 new voters.

NewsDay visited several voter registration centres in Harare yesterday and found that teams from Zec spent the day chatting as few people turned up to register.

The commission deployed two teams per constituency out of the 210 constituencies under the current blitz.

Zec spokesman Jasper Mangwana told NewsDay that the low voter turnout could be attributed to lack of interest.

“To be honest with you, I am not so sure what is happening. Some people are not interested in voting, remember voting is not mandatory,” Mangwana said.

He said they were expecting more new voters after the issuance of identity documents by the Registrar-General’s Office which also is conducting an exercise to provide key documents such as birth certificates and national identity cards.

“We sent our voter educators on the ground last week and they informed people that we were coming to those constituencies. We are carrying out radio programmes at community radio stations, including Radio Zimbabwe.

“We have been assisted by the RG in terms of identity documents and we are expecting many people to come and register to vote, especially those in the rural areas, now that they have access to identity documents,” Mangwana said.

The voter registration blitz was initially scheduled for December last year, but was postponed following concerns that the majority of potential voters did not have identity documents.

  • Follow us on Twitter@NewsDayZimbabwe