There was a massive turnout of registrants in Masvingo and other centres, including Harare, as the biometric voter registration (BVR) mop up exercise came to a close yesterday.
Large groups of registrants were seen patiently queueing at registration centres nationwide.
By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Masvingo province elections officer Zex Pudurai, who said the mop up exercise was a huge success, revealed that as of February 7, 38 513 people had registered, comprising 20 861 females and 17 652 males in the province.
“We never exceeded 3 million registrants before, but this year we have managed to register over 5,3 million people. As Zec, this has been a huge success.”
Spiwe Dzambara a woman in her early 20s, said the previous voter registration process that was scrapped was cumbersome, but BVR was faster as there were more centres to register at.
“You spend a few minutes waiting though today it is different as a lot of people who had not registered want to register.”
Dzambara said she decided to register because she realised that her vote counts.
Another woman in her late 30s said she also decided to register on the last day because of fear of being victimised.
“I feared what the future might hold for me if I did not come and register. That is reason why I am here,” Mitchelle Phiri said.
Purported Zanu PF activists and some traditional leaders have been forcing registrants to surrender their BVR slips serial numbers.
Phiri also commended Zec officers for aiding people with disabilities.
Ngonidzashe Matenga, who said it was his first time to register to vote, saw it necessary because he wants to choose his President.
“My vote counts and adds value to the person chosen as President. Before this new system voting was not necessary it was obvious.”
Artwel Murambatsvina was thankful to commissioners of oath, who made registering easy for people with no proof of residence.