Source: UPDATED: BVR blitz extended | The Herald January 5, 2018
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has extended the biometric voter registration (BVR) blitz by another month, beginning next week, to cater for Zimbabweans who missed the previous exercise,which ended in December last year. Acting ZEC chairperson Mr Emmanuel Magade confirmed the development in an interview yesterday, following the release of funds by Government.
“Government has availed a substantial amount of money for the extension, which will last for a month beginning on the 10th of January and ending on February 8. The idea is to cater for everyone who missed the initial exercise, especially the so-called aliens that were not allowed to register before by the High Court judgment by Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa,” Mr Magade said.
“We are also targeting those that might have missed because they did not have identity documents and the youths who may not have turned 18 when the initial programme ended.”
Mr Magade could not divulge how much Government had released for the extended registration, but reiterated their commitment to register everyone willing to do so. ZEC had made a $7,9 million request for the extension.
“As ZEC we are pulling all the stops to make sure that everybody who desires to register is registered. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice for one to register, but we call upon all those people that have not registered to take advantage of the extension and register,” he added.
During the four phases that ran from August to December last year, the electoral body registered 4,7 million people, well below an initial target of 7,2 million people.
Following the end of the blitz, registration continued at the 64 district offices. The registration faced a number of challenges when the programme started, including impassable terrain in some areas and technical glitches with the BVR machines, while some people were turned away for mainly failing to provide proof of residence. Others had not regularised their citizenship status.