Increase in voter registration statistics through blitz campaign in Zimbabwe hailed

By Wallace Mawire

HARARE,ZIMBABWE-An independent elections monitoring organization in Zimbabwe, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) has hailed the voter registration blitz campaign initiated by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) saying it’s a step in the right direction.

According to ERC,the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has published that the February voter

registration blitz has so far registered 25 603 registrants across the country.

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) said that it welcomed the increase in voter registration statistics witnessed since the beginning of the blitz carried out by ZEC.

It says that though only a fraction of those eligible to register to vote, the initial update of the blitz is a step in the right direction.

ERC added that while welcoming the increase in voter registration statistics, the concerns being seen  with the low uptake of voter registration are eminently fixable.

The ERC has appealed to the Electoral Commission to further decentralize the registration process as the recorded numbers are affected by the in-accessibility of registration centres.

‘There is a need for the Registrar-General’s office to harmonise efforts with the Electoral Commission to ensure all youths are provided with national identity documents in order for them to participate in the registration blitz,’ ERC said.

The independent body said that additionally, there is a need to increase awareness on the voter registration blitz and the importance of registration.

It said that inaccessibility of registration centres and lack of national identity documents have been the main reasons why voter registration uptake has been low since the 2018 Harmonized elections  It is reported that the voter registration blitz has provided an opportunity to bridge the gap between the commission and citizens.

It is added that the commission must further increase the visibility of voter registration centres as citizens have

continually complained on the lack of knowledge on the location of voter registration centres.

   Recommendations proffered by ERC include need for  ZEC to  further decentralize voter registration centres to increase the uptake of voter registration in Zimbabwe,the Electoral Commission  increasing voter awareness of the voter registration blitz and synchronizing efforts with other stakeholders for a wider reach,

. ZEC  increasing voter registration centre visibility and easily demarcating ZEC registration centres.

 

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