Mudzi villagers expressed concern over lack of information on the Biometric voter registration saying they are being threatened with violence should they vote for the opposition in 2018.
At a Zimbabwe Yadzoka meeting held in Mudzi on Saturday, villagers said they would want to be educated about BVR which they now fear could expose them to more violence.
“We are told that the new voting system will allow our leaders to know who we voted for, they are saying that once we submit our images, finger prints and contact details, the system will automatically reveal who we voted for and it is now a concern to us,” said one of the villagers.
Another villager, Shupikai Kagore said in many meetings that are held in his area they are told that images that will used for the biometric voter registration will be used to identify and see the candidate each person votes for.
“People were told that everyone will have his/her image taken so that when you vote they will be able to see who you vote for and those who vote otherwise will be killed,” said Kagore.
Another villager who could not be named for fear of victimisation said, “takanzi mukangopinda mukati imomo mukatorwa pikicha chete, ukangokanganisa kuvhota chete unenge tinenge tichiona zvese zvaitika kuti wavhotera MDC and tichingobva ipapo, ndipo patichatangira kurova vanhu, kudarika zvatakaita 2008.”
An elderly woman who also attended the Zimbabwe Yadzoka meeting expressed concern that the voting system will expose them to violence saying they were told ZEC is using polling based voting which is easy to identify those who vote for the opposition.
“They are saying, what ZEC has planned is that there will be two books only which will allow them to know who you vote for, they even said that the next election will see people voting at only one polling station so that it is easy to know those who do not dance to the tune,” she said.
Addressing a meeting in Mudzi on Saturday, Zimbabwe Yadzoka chairperson, Victor Chimhutu said previous elections were marred by irregularities with alleged high number of dead people and ghost voters but the new system will see everyone going to register afresh.
“In the past there were lots of ghost voters and dead people voting, but in 2018 they will have to rise from the dead to go and vote with their finger prints, so the onus is on the people to go and register in numbers for change to be realised,” said Chimhutu.
Chimhutu called on young people to go and register as they are the most affected by the current economic situation.
“Tell your youths to go and register, they are not interested in politics but they are the ones who spend the day seating on bridges due to unemployment, so they should go and register to vote in 2018,” he said.