Political parties meet over voting regulations

Source: Political parties meet over voting regulations – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 29, 2017

POLITICAL parties will soon meet to deliberate on the electoral voter registration regulations released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) under Statutory Instrument (SI) 85 of 2017 last Friday.


The regulations are on proof of identity and citizenship, proof of residence, registration offices and centres, procedure for registration, control of persons in premises used for registration of voters, the voters’ roll and its inspection among others for purposes of voter registration.

Zec is preparing to roll out a voter registration exercise using biometric kits procured from Laxton Group of Companies, but opposition parties are contesting the manner in which the electoral body is preparing for the registration exercise.

MDC-T secretary for elections, Murisi Zwizwai said his party, MDC and Zanu PF representatives would be meeting soon to deliberate on the regulations.

“We are going to discuss that as a parliamentary political parties’ forum, a high-level engagement platform, which comprises representatives from MDC-T, Zanu PF and MDC,” he said.

“We will sit to discuss and debate on the regulations and then we agree on common positions,” he said.

Zwizwai said where they fail to agree, they will have to present separate papers.

With regard to proof of residence, the SI provides for the use of title deeds, a lodgers’ permit issued by the relevant local authority, utility bills, a statement from the landlord, parent or friend of the claimant confirming that the claimant resides at the stated place of residence.

It also allows a statement from the head of a school, hospital or other public institution, where the claimant resides, a statement from an employer, local councillor, traditional leader or an offer letter at a farm.

For those saying they were unable to obtain any residence document, the SI says Zec will accept affidavits.

According to the regulations, any person, who makes a false statement in a residence affidavit shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 10 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year or to both.

For those who want an electronic copy of the voters’ roll, they will have to apply to the chief elections officer and will be charged $1 for polling station, $2 per ward, $10 for a constituency and $20 for the national roll and 10 cents per page for a hard copy.

Although other parties said they were still looking at the regulations, MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said there were grey areas that needed to be attended to.

“The Zec regulations are not opening the space for citizens to independently pick able leaders without fear of the devil’s advocates in the village,” he said.

“We are still seeing some black spots that require proper detergents to remove them.”

Transform Zimbabwe leader, Jacob Ngarivhume weighed in saying: “The requirement for proof of residence to register to vote is unacceptable.

“It violates the law, which states that the State must do everything within its means to ensure that all citizens eligible to vote are registered.

“This requirement takes all this away from most Zimbabweans, especially the youth and women.”