Felex Share Senior Reporter—
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday rolled out the voter registration blitz for the 2018 elections at most centres countrywide, with most spots recording low turnout. Some of the established centres in Harare had not opened by midday, while rains had affected deployment of ZEC officials in other areas. ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau yesterday said, “We have started the blitz and we are on the ground at most centres. I wasn’t aware that in some areas we had not deployed and I will have to check what problems could have arose, if any. There are some areas such as Gokwe, Binga and others in Mashonaland Central where the unexpected rains have affected our deployment. By tomorrow, we hope every publicised centre will be operating in full force. We encourage people to come out in their numbers and register.”
The voter registration blitz will be held in four phases and will last 72 days. ZEC has established 2 508 registration centres countrywide for the first phase, which ends on October 26. The second phase will take place between October 29 and November 13, while the third one will be done from November 16 and December 1. The fourth phase will be between December 4 and 19. For the first phase, Harare will have 167 registration centres, Bulawayo (108), Masvingo (322), Manicaland (345), Midlands (359), Matabeleland North (220), Matabeleland South (164), Mashonaland East (289), Mashonaland Central (225), and Mashonaland West (309).
Justice Makarau on Monday said title deeds, utility bills, headman, chief and landowner’s confirmation letters would be accepted as proof of residence. She said affidavits, hospital bills or clinic cards with post office markings reflecting the applicant’s address as well as statements by the applicant’s employer confirming one’s address will also be accepted. The blitz that began yesterday took over from continuous voter registration exercise that has been taking place since September 14.
Continuous voter registration was only being done at 63 centres countrywide. About 32 000 people registered between September 14 and last week. ZEC is targeting to register seven million voters. ZEC is registering people biometrically using the 3 000 biometric voter registration (BVR) kits procured from China. Each biometric voter registration kit has a capacity to register between 80 and 100 people per day.