Vendors and other informal traders have cried foul over the slow process of the Bio-Metric Voter Registration (BVR) saying it is affecting their businesses as they have to content with being away from their operations for longer periods queuing to register to vote.
A snap survey around Harare revealed that an individual would take on average, two hours from the time of arrival for one person to register with some centres managing approximately 20 people by midday yesterday.
Charles Chinyani a vendor in Mbare said, “I think this slow process is bad for some of us who are self-employed. Imagine I have been in the queue for more an hour. I need to be doing my business.”
A visibly frustrated Emilda Matarirano from Mufakose said, “The guys (the ZEC officials) have permanent jobs but some of us are self-reliant and the more hours we are away from our businesses the more money we lose out. They should speed up this process,” said a visibly frustrated Emilda Matarirano from Mufakose.”
Mandla Chari, who said he is a carpenter at Glen View 8 Complex said the process was too slow for small business operators like him who literally survive on their daily pickings.
ZEC has set a target of 7 million voters by January next year when the process ends.
Appearing before a live radio programme on Monday night, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, urged people not to panic as her commission would soon add more centres around the country which will more people being registered at a more efficient rate.
“We distributed 63 BVR kits out of the initial 400 received to date to all the country’s 63 districts for the initial registration programme. The rest are being used for training programmes,” she said.
According to ZEC, 3000 BVR kits will be used for the whole registration process.
Makarau noted that the remaining 2600 kits will be coming on time to kick start a full scale registration blitz in October, expressing optimism that the commission will meet its target as the process will include mobile registration for easy accessibility.