‘Women’s votes to dominate elections’ 

Source: ‘Women’s votes to dominate elections’ | The Sunday Mail May 27, 2018

People aged between 30 and 34 years constitute the largest number of registered voters while women outnumber their registered male counterparts by around half a million, official statistics show.

Figures from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission show that 5 439 822 people had registered to vote by May 8, with females accounting for 2 953 142 while there were 2 486 680 males.

Female voters also constitute the highest number of voters across all provinces and nearly all 210 National Assembly constituencies.

Statistics show that 754 886 people between the ages of 30 to 34 account for the most registered voters, while only 780 are above 99 years of age.

Other key voting age groups are people aged 20 to 24 and those between 35 and 39, who each constitute more than 700 000 of the registrants.

Those aged 25 to 29 are 690 905, while the 40 to 44 age bracket has 603 597 registrants.

Virgin voters aged 18 to 19, who were not eligible to vote in the last election, account for just over 200 000 registrants.

With 849 818 registrants, Harare Metropolitan Province has the highest number of voters while Matabeleland South has the lowest prospective voters at 249 735.

Midlands province (727 748) has the second highest number of registrants and is closely followed by Manicaland (702 955).

Harare South constituency (74 246) has the highest number of registered voters in the country and is closely followed by Epworth (70 608) — both seats currently occupied by Zanu-PF Members of Parliament.

Political analyst and University of Pretoria PhD scholar Mr Alban Gambe said the figures indicate that the MDC-T could still be playing catch up.

Said Mr Gambe: “In the last census, there were 6 234 931 males and 6 738 877 females, so it was expected that women would constitute more registered voters.

“What these numbers indicate is that the voting patterns will be similar to what happened in 2013.

“I would say it is the MDC which has to play catch up. They need to work harder to close the gap because these statistics point to a similar statistical framework with 2013,” he said.

However, University of Zimbabwe lecturer and media analyst Mr Wellington Gadzikwa said this year’s voting patterns could be different from 2013.

“The pattern will be different as the circumstances have changed and the candidates are new,” he said.

“The number of women, I think that number has always been huge, so it’s a different ball game altogether which is very difficult to predict because we do not know what the female constituency prefer. It’s up to the parties to find out and create an appeal for that.”