Voter registration deadline announced

Priscilla Chigumba
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The Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise for people who intend to vote in this year’s harmonised elections will end two days after proclamation of election dates by President Mnangagwa, a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) official has said.

Registration for aspiring voters for future elections will however continue.

This announcement comes as close to a million people have turned up to inspect the provisional voters’ roll at ZEC’s 10 807 stations countrywide.

Addressing Zanu-PF supporters at Sakubva Stadium last week, President Mnangagwa said he would announce election dates before the end of this month.

Already, Parliament has passed the Electoral Amendment Bill, which now awaits Presidential assent.

In an interview yesterday, ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the cut-off date will allow the elections management body to prepare the final voters’ roll.

“There has been an amendment to the law; two days after announcement of election dates is the deadline to register. That gives us sufficient time to prepare the final voters’ roll.

“The next port of call is the gazetting of the provisional voters roll by the President. Fourteen days after proclamation of election dates, the nomination court will sit and we will be able to give the final voters’ roll to political parties,” she said.

Previously, ZEC has raised concerns that the law gave them little time to prepare the final voters’ roll.

Inspection of the provisional voters’ roll will however until Tuesday.

Justice Chigumba said the public turnout has been tremendous.

“Over 700 000 people have turned out physically to inspect their names on the voters’ roll and we are very happy with the turnout. The process is going on smoothly,” she said.

Latest statistics from ZEC indicate that around 5 310 734 people have registered to date. Some aspiring voters are also taking advantage of the inspection exercise to register.

To add convenience in the provisional voters’ roll inspection process, ZEC is also running a short messaging service mobile platform, but it continues to urge prospective voters to physically check their details.

In an earlier interview with The Sunday Mail, Justice Chigumba indicated that queries will only be entertained during the inspection period.

“If a person finds out on the day of the election that their details were captured incorrectly, they are not going to be able to do anything about it on that day. The error may be corrected and they can vote in the next election, but definitely not this one. So people need to go and inspect the provisional voters’ roll.”

Unlike in previous elections, this year’s plebiscite will be polling station-based, meaning an aspiring voter’s name will only appear on the voters’ roll placed at a specific polling station.

Justice Chigumba said the public can only change constituencies and polling stations during the period of the voters’ roll inspection.