FINANCE minister Tendai Biti told parliament on Wednesday that Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede was frustrating the 30-day intensive voter registration despite Treasury releasing US$20 million for the exercise set to end on July 9.
Hazel Ndebele/ Paidamoyo Muzulu
Biti was responding to a question from Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya of the MDC-T who wanted to know why the voter registration process faced problems after Treasury had released funds for the project.
“There should be a 30-day voter registration in every ward after we raised the money by hook and crook to fund this exercise,” Biti said. “What disturbs us is we are reading in the papers that the Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede is not carrying out his duties as agreed by cabinet.
“It is unfortunate that I don’t have powers to supervise Mudede in his duties except that I should only raise money as the minister responsible for state programmes.”
Voter registration remains one of the sticking political issues among the coalition government partners as the country readies itself for make-or-break elections which are now likely to be held in August.
Voter registration has been chaotic countrywide with many potential voters failing to register since the exercise started last week.
Hundreds of people have been turned away for various reasons, particularly for having insufficient particulars, such as birth certificates, identity documents and proof of residence, which are required to register.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau conceded that the mobile voter registration exercise was riddled with problems but promised that they would be addressed as the exercise progresses.