Mudede refers 'aliens' to KGVI barracks

HARARE - Chaotic scenes yesterday continued to blight the ongoing mobile voter registration process with scores of the so-called aliens being directed to the Zimbabwe National Army and police for clearance.

Early yesterday, scores of villagers from Goromonzi besieged the office of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as they sought answers after failing to get a service at the mobile voter registration centres which were overwhelmed by large volumes of people.

Ian Makone, chief secretary in the Prime Minister’s office, told the Daily News that dozens of people had been turned away from a mobile voter registration centre at Shumba Clinic in ward 3, Goromonzi.

“More than 50 people failed to register yesterday on the grounds that they were aliens and they were sent back home,” Makone told the Daily News yesterday.

“Some of the elderly who didn’t have IDs were told to first get clearance from KGVI. Cabinet must revisit the issue because this is taking place all over the country. People were sent to the army in order to verify if they do not have criminal records.”

KGVI is the army headquarters where national documents such as passports are processed.

Despite a clause in the new Constitution which allows people born of parents from the Sadc region to register as voters, potential voters such as  22-year-old Violet Kamozhi were not so lucky even though she was born in Zimbabwe.

“I was sent back home by officials because they said I am an alien and now I am lost and don’t know what to do after I was told to go the army barracks at KGVI,” said Kamozhi.

Those who spoke to the Daily News said the process was cumbersome.

“We are being referred to Harare, where do we get the money for transport?

Isn’t it that the mobile voter registration was put in place to assist register to vote?” asked Daniel Chozarira.

Despite the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) relaxing documents required for one to register, the Daily News was yesterday inundated with calls from irate members of the public who were claiming that affidavits which would act as proof of residence were not readily available at some centres.

 Elsewhere, exuberant youths, frustrated mothers with babies on their backs and the elderly braced the chilly weather in Harare’s volatile suburb of Mbare as they waited for their chance to register as voters, obtain a birth certificate for babies or even get a national ID for the first time.

“I arrived before this place opened and now this is 12:30pm. I feel that the number of officials conducting the process is too small and cannot cater for all the people here,” said Gamuchirayi Tuwacha.

In Zvimba East at a mobile registration centre at Trillion, people claimed that the affidavits were being sold.

Efforts to speak to Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede were futile yesterday, but he told Parliament on Monday that they had to cut corners in the on-going process since government has not adequately funded the mobile exercise.

Zec last week announced that it had received $20 million which would enable a ward-based mobile voter registration exercise. However, registration is currently taking place at a district level.

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