Voter Registration Kicks Off

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on Thursday officially launched the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) following a proclamation by President Robert Mugabe to kick-start the voter registration ahead of the 2018 harmonized elections.

Addressing various stakeholders attending the official launch on Thursday in Harare, ZEC chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau said voter registration will continue even after the proclamation of election day and after the nomination day for a further 12 days.

“After 15 January 2018 other registrations will be accepted and will be added on to the new roll that we would have created.

“Continuous registration throughout the country will commence at all 63 ZEC district offices with effect from Monday 18th of September 2017,” said Makarau.

She added that each district office will receive one BVR Kit that will be used continuous voter registration even beyond the 2018 harmonized elections.

She highlighted that ZEC is going to conduct a national blitz once it has received the remaining 2600 kits, with the delivery expected by mid October in accordance with the contract.

“Registration centres for the blitz shall be established in due course and would be established within the wards close enough to the people so that they do not travel long distances.

“Eligible voters should not panic if they fail to register at the static centres but we want to give them our assurance that it is our aim and target to register all eligible voters and we have given ourselves an ambitious target of seven billion eligible voters,” said Makarau.

She added that ZEC will also be launching an extensive voters’ education and campaign to educate the public about this new exercise and requirements for registration.

“After the latest day for the receipt of applications for registration that is 15 of January 2018, ZEC will commence the internal processes of compiling a new voters roll cleaning it up, reduplicating double registrations if there are any,” added Makarau.

She added that following the inspection and cleaning of the voters’ roll, ZEC will issue a notice in the gazette fixing a date on which the voters produced as a result of the above process will be declared as the definitive voters’ roll replacing the old roll.

ZEC Commissioner, Joyce Kazembe added that BVR is an innovation by ZEC that captures voters’ fingerprints and facial features.

“Transparency is one of ZEC’s core values and this launch is an act to ensure that we carry everyone along in all our electoral processes” said Kazembe.

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