INDEPENDENT electoral watchdog, Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) has urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to give regular updates, particularly regarding its preparations for next year’s general elections, for the benefit of the electorate and other stakeholders.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Zesn, in a statement, said it was key for Zec to ensure that it released timetables for key electoral processes, which include voter registration, requirements for biometric voter registration (BVR) and finalisation of voter registration regulations.
“They should share with stakeholders, when the actual voter registration process will commence. Secondly, the commission must finalise the voter registration regulations clearly spelling out whether the BVR technology will be used to register voters given that the draft regulations are silent on the issue. There is also need for clarity on whether the 2013 voters’ roll will be discarded for a fresh voters’ roll under the new polling station-based voter registration system,” Zesn said.
The call came as former adviser to ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa, said he did not see Zanu PF ditching the 2013 voters’ roll.
“I am not a prophet, but if you are familiar with soccer, you don’t change a winning team. The 2013 voters’ roll is a winning team for Zanu PF and I don’t see them changing it, this is why there is no clear mention of BVR in the law or regulations,” he said.
Zesn noted that in 2013, millions of potential voters failed to register after the process was closed prematurely.
“In light of challenges observed in the previous voter registration exercise such as the slow processing of potential voter registrants, Zesn believes that the commission should pay special attention in the recruitment of data capturers and registration officers for the voter registration exercise.
“Zesn calls for the timeous awarding of the BVR tender in order to allow for sufficient time for the procurement of the registration kits, recruitment of voter registration officers and data capturers, comprehensive voter education for voter registration and other important electoral processes,” Zesn said.