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Drivers licence removal as proof of identity irks Veritas

Local News
Voter registration kit

LEGAL think-tank Veritas has questioned the removal of driver’s licence as proof of identity in the proposed Electoral Bill that was approved by Cabinet last week.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the amendments included the timeframe within which Parliament and local authority candidates could withdraw from contesting in an election and incorporation of the 30% women and youth quotas, among others.

 “In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, one has to be a citizen to qualify as a voter. Accordingly, only valid passports or national identity cards will be required as proof of identity,” Mutsvangwa said during a post-Cabinet briefing.

However, Veritas said the removal of driver’s licences would negatively affect eligible voters.

“At present, the Electoral Act defines proof of identity as including Zimbabwe passports, national IDs and driver’s licences.  The amendment will remove driver’s licences from the list. 

“What this will mean is that people who apply to be registered as voters will have to produce their passports or national IDs under section 24(6) of the Electoral Act — which is fair enough — but it will also mean that people who are already registered as voters will not be able to use their driver's licences to identify themselves at polling stations in terms of section 56(3) of the Act,” the latest Bill Watch analysis by Veritas read.

“They should be allowed to do this because driver's licences are a perfectly acceptable form of identification, and voters who come to a polling station should not have to prove their citizenship.  They have already proved they are citizens when they registered on the voters roll.”

Recently, electoral stakeholders, including the opposition, have raised concern over the secrecy surrounding the Electoral Amendment Bill 2022 announced by the government on Tuesday.

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