THE opposition Citizens Coalitions for Change (CCC) yesterday accused the Registrar-General (RG)’s Office of deliberately frustrating urban voters by taking long to issue national identity cards for them to be able to register to vote in the 2023 elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has been accused of working in cahoots with the RG’s Office to frustrate voter registration in urban centres, which have been opposition strongholds since 2000.
After touring the RG’s Makombe office in the capital on a fact-finding mission yesterday, CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba, who was on the tour with other CCC members, told NewsDay that there was an attempt to suppress the urban vote ahead of the 2023 elections.
He accused the RG’s Office of frustrating youths who are spending hours queueing to get identity cards.
“There is literally voter registration suppression in urban areas by the government and what we saw at Makombe government complex was really shocking,” he said.
“Today, as the Citizens Coalitions for Change with our elections officer, we toured Makombe government building complex in Harare to see how people were getting their identity cards and also the voter registration process. It was disturbing. There is red tape at the registrar’s office as youths are being forced to wait for five to six hours to take an identity card. We have even checked with our urban comrades around the county, they said they are facing the same (problem).
“We just believe that this is all designed by the government to frustrate the young people and our supporters in urban areas. In the rural areas, the registration process is very smooth as people are getting their identity cards smoothly and even in registration centres. In some instances in urban areas, people are being told that machines are not operating by Zec.”
Acting Registrar-General Henry Machiri refuted the allegations and instead, accused the CCC of trying to come up with an excuse.
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“There is nothing like that. I think the CCC are just trying to come up with an excuse or something. When we give orders they are just uniform, we don’t give orders because of geographical location,” he said.
“What they are saying is not correct. We are assisting everyone just like any Zimbabwean. When assisting people, we don’t even know (one’s) political party. Are you aware that we are even issuing identity cards at the on-going Harare Agricultural Show?” Machiri added.