HARARE – A biometric voter registration process to guide the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on a planned delimitation exercise in September ahead of the 2023 general elections in the country gets underway today, according to local reports. The registration exercise will inform the ZEC on how to carve out constituencies for said elections.
The Chronicle reports that the activity, which was put off last December due to a surge in coronavirus cases, will unfold in two phases at 2,700 voter registration centres nationwide, beginning today February 1.
The report cites a notice by the chief election officer at ZEC, Utoile Silaigwana, which states that the first phase of the biometric registration will run from February 1 to 28, while the second will happen between April 10 and 30. The registration centers, according to Silaigwana, will be open from 7:30am to 5pm daily, including weekends.
The notice calls on potential voters to take along their national ID documents such as ID cards, waiting pass or valid passports to registration centers. It also notes that all those with the ‘alien’ tag to their IDs can be allowed to register if they meet the conditions spelt out in the country’s 2013 constitution, according to The Chronicle.
The Sunday Mail, in a related report, gives an idea of the number of biometrics enrollment and registration centers in some of the largest constituencies in the country. According to the report, the capital Harare will have 271 centers, 152 will be in Bulawayo, while Manicaland and Mashonaland Central will have 266 and 291, respectively.
The report quotes Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Aaron Nhepera as saying the second phase of the voter registration exercise will unfold alongside the issuance of civil IDs by the Registrar General’s office.
Joyce Kazembe, a ZEC Commissioner told The Sunday Mail that the Commission is fully ready for the registration exercise since is has finished training for personnel and concluded voter education campaigns.
The Mail also quotes some civil society actors and political party officials who have expressed the wish to support ZEC in the voter registration drive by encouraging more potential voters to show up and enroll.