THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) says the just-ended voter registration exercise was fraught with logistical problems resulting in many people failing to register to vote.
ERC, a non-partisan electoral institute supporting democracy stakeholders, said: “The combined civil and voter registration provided an opportunity for prospective voters to acquire new and lost identification documents; register to vote and inspect the voters roll. However the process itself was fraught with logistical and technical challenges which impeded the registration of all prospective registrants.”
The mandatory 30-day mobile voter registration exercise was conducted by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) from June 10-July 9, but the ERC said challenges including general lethargic service, inadequate voter education, inaccessibility of registration centers, inconsistent application of provisions for voter registrationand limited publicity, among many others, scuttled the entire registration process.
“ERC observers also noted a combination of unprofessional conduct and disturbing lack of urgency by certain registration officials resulting in long winding queues at various centres throughout the country.”
“Lessons from the previous voter registration process must in future inform Zec that the provisions for continuous voter registration in Zimbabwe must run parallel to a similarly continuous voter education process.”
Meanwhile the MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti, this week, called for an extension of the mobile voter registration exercise, claiming that at least 300 000 prospective voters in Harare alone have been denied the right to participate in general elections.