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Open Referendum Voting Sparks Debate

Allowing everyone to vote, including those not on the voters’ roll in the referendum will not be welcome by some, VOA Studio 7 has learnt.

Those advocating for the move, that was also done in the 2000 referendum, say doing so will ensure that everyone above the age of 18 will have the opportunity to participate in the plebiscite.

But opponents argue that voting without registering will make rigging the election easy.

The debate was sparked by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Commissioner, Geoff Feltoe, at a meeting to discuss the referendum in Harare on Thursday.

Feltoe said the fact that even those youths not registered were going to vote in the referendum would show them the importance of taking part in deciding their plight.

“We need to talk about the drive for the registration of young people, telling them that it is essential to participate in the electoral process and giving them the reason why they should participate,” he said.

Meanwhile, spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube tells Studio 7 that Zimbabwe should stick to its policy of allowing not only those who registered to vote in the referendum as this will allow as many people as possible to have a say in the constitution-making process.
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We also spoke to youth activist and commentator, Dumisani Nkomo, who says everyone must be registered to vote in the referendum to reduce chances of rigging the plebiscite.
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