The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] is conducting a seven-day voter registration and voters roll inspection exercise running from Wednesday 22nd April to Tuesday 28th April.
This a special exercise to cater for fourteen of the Parliamentary by-elections in which polling will take place on 10th June. [SI 39/2015 ordering the by-elections is available from the addresses given at the end of this bulletin].
ZEC is legally correct in stipulating 28th April as the last day of the exercise. It is the twelfth day after the 16th April, the day the nomination courts sat for the purposes of the by-elections. Section 26A of the Electoral Act provides that the twelfth day after nomination day is the last day for lodging a claim for registration on or transfer of registration to a voters roll for the purpose of voting in a pending election. So, anyone who after the 28th April lodges a claim for registration in any of the fourteen constituencies concerned will not be able to vote at the by-elections on 10th June.
Scope of the Exercise: 14 Constituencies Only The present exercise is limited to fourteen constituencies [listed below] in which by-elections are scheduled. The National Assembly seats for these constituencies were previously held by members of the MDC Renewal Team whose names are given in parentheses in the following list [in which the constituencies have been grouped according to province]-
Lobengula [Nkomo, Sipepa]
Luveve [Moyo, Reggie]
Makokoba [Moyo, Gorden]
Mpopoma/Pelandaba [Nyathi, Bekithemba]
Pumula [Mhlanga, Albert]
Dzivaresekwa [Madzore, Solomon]
Glen View [Madzore, Paul]
Harare East [Biti, Tendai]
Highfield West [Manyengavana, Moses]
Kambuzuma [Madzimure, Willias]
Kuwadzana [Matibenga, Lucia]
Chikanga-Dangamvura [Tsunga, Arnold]
Tsholotsho [Nkomo, Roseline]
Mbizo [Chikwinya, Settlement]
Registered Voters Will Not be Re-registered
ZEC will use the voters rolls that were used during the 2013 harmonised elections as the basis for the exercise. Persons whose names already appear on these rolls will not be re-registered.
Qualified persons resident in these constituencies who have never registered as voters – for example, those who turned 18 since July 2013 – are therefore the main focus of the voter registration exercise.
Persons wishing to inspect a voters roll to check whether and in which ward they are registered will also be catered for. Errors and omissions can then be corrected. As voting on 10th June will be strictly ward-based, it is important for a voter to know in which ward he or she is registered and to ensure that he or she goes to a polling station in the correct ward to vote.
Business Hours at Registration and Inspection Centres
The registration and inspection centres will open from 7 am to 5 pm daily during the 7-day perioexercised of the, including Saturday and Sunday.
Documents Needed for Registration and Inspection
ZEC’s press notice lists the requirements as follows:
a) National Identity Card [metal, plastic or waiting pass with holder’s picture] OR
b) Valid Zimbabwean passport AND
c) Proof of residence.
National Identity Card [metal, plastic or waiting pass with holder’s picture] OR
b) Valid Zimbabwean passport.
Proof of Residence
Section of the Electoral (Voter Registration) Regulations [SI 69/2013] provides as follows- “Proof of residence
6. (1) For the purposes of registering as a voter any of the following documents shall constitute proof of residence-
(a) title deeds or a certificate of occupation;
(b) a lodgers permit;
(c) rates, water, electricity, telephone or credit store statements on which is shown the claimant’s name and physical address;
(d) a statement from the landlord, parent or friend of the applicant confirming that the claimant resides at the stated place of residence accompanied by any of the documents in paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) in the name of the landlord, parent, friend or such other person at whose residence the claimant resides;
(e) a statement by the head of the school, hospital, mine or other institution where the claimant resides;
(f) a statement by the claimant’s employer confirming his or her address;
(g) a confirmation letter by the councillor, village head, headman or chief confirming that the claimant resides in the ward he or she claims to reside in;
(h) a confirmation letter by farm owner or resettlement officer confirming that the claimant resides in the ward he or she claims to reside in;
(i) an offer letter for those under the resettlement programme;
(j) a hospital bill or an envelope with post office markings reflecting the claimant’s address.
(2) A claimant who is unable to produce any of the documents specified in subparagraph (1) shall complete the affidavit specified in form VR. 8 in lieu thereof.”
Venues of Registration and Inspection Centres
The registration and inspection centres are too numerous to list in this bulletin – there are 72 such centres for Tsholotsho alone. They were published in by ZEC in the press on 21st April. Veritas has the lists of centres for each province available in soft copy for those needing them [available on the Veritas website from Friday 24th April, 2 pm].