MDC slams ‘painstakingly slow, inefficient’ voter registration exercise

Obert Gutu

Harare – Zimbabwe’s main opposition the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has slammed the “painstakingly slow and thoroughly inefficient” voter registration exercise undertaken by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

The biometric voter registration (BVR) system was rolled out throughout Zimbabwe’s 63 district centres on Monday and was set to continue until January 15, 2018 for the polls in which President Robert Mugabe would seek to extend his 37-year-long stranglehold on power.

In a statement, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu called upon the electoral body to “urgently and immediately up its game” in ensuring that the biometric voter registration system was a success.

Gutu said that only one BVR machine was being used in each of the registration centres and as a result, this caused “unnecessary delays in the voter registration exercise”.

“ZEC has got a constitutional obligation to undertake a credible, efficient and transparent voter registration exercise but so far, the situation on the ground leaves a lot to be desired. We demand more seriousness and focus on the part of ZEC,” said Gutu.

This came a week after the opposition party filed court papers alleging that the registration authorities were not ready for the process.

The MDC argued at the High Court in Harare that the electoral commission had not procured enough equipment to register voters and that the registration process itself lacked transparency.