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Bulawayo Residents Say Mobile Voters' Exercise Chaotic

  • Nothando Sibanda
  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Bulawayo residents have expressed concern over lack of adequate information and publicity from the Registrar General's Office on the mobile voter registration exercise which entered its second week Monday.

The mobile voter registration exercise is expected to run until May 19. The program, which is expected to facilitate the registration of voters, especially those previously designated as 'aliens', is being hampered by administrative shortcomings.

Provincial administrative offices said they have not received communication from their bosses in Harare that the so-called aliens can now register as voters.

City resident William Sithole, who went to Iminyela Hall to register Monday,said there hasn't been adequate publicity on the exercise to ensure citizens use this opportunity to register or check the voter's roll for their names.

Sithole said lack of communication between the Registrar General’s Office and the provincial offices is dampening the spirits of aliens who believed they would now be registered as voters.

The Registry Department has suspended fines for lost identity cards to enable citizens to replace their lost documents during the voter registration exercise.

Another resident, Edwin Ndlovu, said apart from the perceived aliens, most youths in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions will need help to access documentation to register due to the Gukurahundi problem that left many children orphaned and without their parents' death certificates, which are needed to apply for identity cards.

The mobile team in Bulawayo will Tuesday move to Lobengula Secondary School, before moving to Magwegwe and Beit Hall.

Meanwhile, the other mobile teams in the region will Tuesday be in Chitete Primary School in Binga, Sijauke Primary School in Bubi District and Redbank Primary School in Umguza District.

In the Gokwe-Gumunyu constituency in the Midlands Province, villagers said they have not seen a single team from the Registrar General’s office in all their 9 wards.

Mavambo-Khusile-Dawn vice provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West, Tofaranashe Gumbo, also a resident in the constituency, said the absence of the mobile teams in his constituency is now forcing some villagers to travel long distances in an effort to register as voters or to inspect the voters’ roll.