No voter registration at inspection centres: Zec

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says voter registration will run concurrently with the voters roll inspection exercise that commences on Saturday this week.

Zec will open the voters roll for inspection at all polling stations across the country until May 31, 2023. Voters can conduct the inspection electronically using mobile phones.

“Voter registration has not yet been closed,” Zec chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana told NewsDay yesterday.

“However, members of the public will not be able to register as voters at the polling stations. They will be justinspecting the roll. Registration will be at the usual. There is no registration at all at the inspection centres. We are extending our work. We are doing it for the benefit of the public, as an administrative matter. We are doing like what we do with the voter registration blitz to bring the centres to the people. It’s an administrative decision that we have taken to bring the centres to the people, otherwise individuals can inspect the roll anytime, according to the law.”

Silaigwana said the voters roll would be closed for registration two days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa has proclaimed the election date.

Last month, Mnangagwa told a Zanu PF crowd in Mhondoro that he would proclaim the election date at the end of this month.  But Veritas said that was not possible because the Electoral Amendment Bill was still pending in Parliament.

Mnangagwa also told Zanu PF supporters recently in Mudzi that the elections would be held in August.

“No electoral legislation can apply to an election after the President has formallycalled by proclamation published in the Government Gazette,” Veritas said in its latest Bill Watch publication. 

“The authority for that is section 157(5) of the Constitution which provides that: ‘After an election has been called, no change to the electoral law or to any other law relating to elections has effect for the purpose of that election. The Electoral Amendment Bill must, therefore, become law as an Act before the proclamation can be gazetted. Developments on that Bill in Parliament on Thursday 18th May have rendered it constitutionally impossible for the proclamation to be gazetted in May.”

Veritas, however, said Mnangagwa had until the end of June to gazette the election proclamation in compliance with section 38 of the Electoral Act.

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