By Yvonne Manjengwa
Harare, 18 December 2017
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has listed a number of recommendations which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should adopt to improve the registration process.
This follows after different reports have been received about various challenges affecting the registration process in different parts of the country.
ZESN received reports of a number of voter registration centres that ran out of print rolls used for issuing voter registration slips to successful registrants.
These incidents were reported at Takunda Ward 13, St Joseph Ward 3 Vungu, St Patrick’s school in Chiwundura Ward 9, Gweru urban ward 18 in Midlands Province, .Bindura North Centre, Svuure Primary in Zaka East Ward 25 and Zaka East ward 25.
ZESN restates that given the target for voter registration was set for 7 million; ZEC should have matched the required voter registration material with the target figure.
Most people who designate as “aliens” are failing to register because in addition to proof of residence they are required to produce long birth certificate which some of them are not in possession of.Secondly, some registration centres officials are not aware of the instructions on how to handle “alien” registration.
Such cases have been reported in Kuwadzana wards 38 and 44, Highfield East ward 25 in Harare Provinces and some areas in Mashonaland West.
“Such clarity needs to be mainstreamed into future registration efforts and be widely publicized by electoral stakeholders in particular the ZEC and ZHRC to ensure enfranchisement of every potential voter”.
ZESN female observers observed that some of the voter’s registration centres particularly the mobile centres such as tents in rural areas are not sensitive to the needs of women and other special needs groups as they are far from sources of clean water and ablution facilities.
Hence ZESN has urged ZEC to consider hiring mobile toilets for places that do not have proper ablution facilities for future electoral exercise such as Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), inspection and voting and ensure provision for habitable facilities.
Meanwhile, ZESN continues to get reports of the malfunctioning of equipment which has resulted in stumbling of voter registration processes in many instances.
“For example, in Mkoba Ward 16 registration was temporarily stopped for 3 hours on 11 December due to challenges with the thermal printer which was later repaired by ZEC technicians”