Some Zimbabweans say they still don’t understand modalities of registering to vote in the 2018 crucial general elections as the state-sponsored Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is not educating people about the Biometric Voter Registration exercise, which started last month and has so far netted about one million potential voters of the targeted seven million.
Ernest Nyathi of Gwanda in Matabeleland South province is among some people who have not yet registered in the country’s new voters’ roll, saying there is no voter education in most rural areas in the southern parts of the nation.
Several potential voters in Halusupi, Gwanda South, and others in Bulilima South, Lower Gweru, Chiredzi and Mutasa communal lands expressed the same views, noting that ZEC should come up with an outreach program for educating citizens about the voter registration program.
Critics say the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission won’t reach its target due to lack of voter education information.
The biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise is presently in full swing in most parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai says it is worried that the BVR program is not catering for people living with disabilities.
“Statistics have shown that at least 10% of the population of Zimbabwe consists of persons with disabilities. These persons have got every right, just like their able-bodied counterparts, to participate in the governance of their country, including registering to vote as well as voting on polling day. As such, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), has a constitutional obligation to make sure that all eligible persons with disabilities are able to register to vote during the on – going BVR exercise.
“The starting point is to make sure that all BVR centres are friendly to persons with disabilities in order to make it easy for these people to access these centres. We have some eligible Zimbabweans with physical disabilities such as those persons who use wheel-chairs as well as the visually impaired. BVR centres should be adequately equipped to ensure that these eligible Zimbabweans with disabilities are not unnecessarily inconvenienced when they turn up to register to vote.”