BY METHEMBE SIBANDA
ELECTORAL watchdogs have implored the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to consider another voter registration blitz to offer citizens who have since acquired identity cards the chance to register to vote.
This followed complaints from across the country that many people failed to register during the first and second phases of the Zec biometric voter registration blitz due to lack of IDs.
The December 2021 voter registration blitz only resulted in 2 000 new voters registering while around 110 000 registered during the second voter registration blitz in February this year.
A recent report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) and the Election Resource Centre (ERC) revealed that lack of IDs and other necessary documents hindered several prospective voter registrants from registering to vote.
The report said: “Before the commencement of the phase 2 registration blitz, the Registrar-General (RG) began a national identity document (ID card) issuance blitz on April 1, 2022. This was 10 days before the second biometric voter registration blitz which was to begin on April 11, 2022.
“A national ID is an important document for one to register as a voter during the voter registration process. ERC, Zesn and other stakeholders contend that without the issuance of IDs a large group of eligible Zimbabweans will be disenfranchised.
“Considering that the RG is in the process of an ID blitz up to September 2022, ERC and Zesn implore Zec to consider another blitz post September 2022 to provide citizens that would have acquired national IDs the chance to register ahead of the commencement of the boundary delimitation exercise.”
Zesn and ERC also urged the RG to consider relaxing requirements for accessing vital documentation required by citizens.
“The RG’s office must consider continuous relaxation of requirements so as to ensure that all citizens access documentation necessary for participation in the voter registration process,” read the report.
The national ID blitz will run until September 2022 in all provinces across the country.
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