By Felex Share
Inspection of the provisional voters’ roll ended yesterday, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) recording over 100 000 new voter registrants.
The inspection began on May 19 and the electoral body established 10 807 centres for the exercise.
This comes amid reports that civil society organisations (CSOs) yesterday bussed in hordes of new registrants in Harare and Norton forcing ZEC to extend its operating hours.
ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba yesterday said inspection of the voters’ roll went on smoothly countrywide.
“I am just receiving reports that some CSOs have bussed in people to our registration centres in Harare and Norton,” she said.
“I do not know where they bussed them in from. They are new registrants and our officers will not be able to close stations by the time they are supposed to. We have extended the closing time for those stations and we have instructed our provincial election officers to accommodate them up to a reasonable time and that should be about 8 and 9pm.”
She said those who failed to register could be captured in the next few days at ZEC static centres.
“We had 11 days of inspection and today (yesterday) is the last day for inspection and not registration,” Justice Chigumba said.
“Registration will continue except that it will be at the 63 districts and 10 provincial offices.”
In terms of statics, Justice Chigumba said: “I really do not have current statics, but as of yesterday (Monday), I know that we had slightly over 100 000 new registrants around the country.
“We had increased the registration centres to over 2 000 instead of the usual 73. It was actually a good turnout and we believe the number of new registrants increased not only because more people turned 18, but that there were more centres which we opened during the period of inspection.”
She said the next stage after voters’ roll inspection would be the gazetting of the voters’ roll.
“After that the President will proclaim the date of the election,” she said.
“After proclamation we count 14 days and the nomination court will sit.”
As of last Friday, more than 4,7 million people had inspected the provisional voters’ roll.
ZEC said 694 030 physically inspected the voters’ roll while 819 935 used their mobile phones using the USSD code *265#.
Another 3 256 440 received bulk SMS.
Of the total registered 5,4 million voters, 11 018 have been excluded from the voters’ roll for various reason as 5 326 died, 3 077 were multiple registrants while 2 615 had incorrect ID numbers.
Unregistered voters were also expected to use the same programme to register at various polling stations.
ZEC is coming up with a new voters’ roll after taking over the process from the Registrar General’s office in line with the Constitution.