Zec revises downwards 7m target for registration

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has revised downwards its targeted voter registration number by two million voters.

Zec acting chairperson Emmanuel Magade told a media briefing yesterday that the initial target of seven million when it rolled out the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise last year was overambitious and unrealistic.

Zec said it has so far managed to register total of 4 879 482 voters since the beginning of the BVR in September last year.

The briefing came as the electoral body embarks on a mop up voter registration exercise — an extension from the original deadline which lapsed last month. The month-long mop up exercise kicks off today and ends on February 8.

“I think we were overly ambitious, we were extravagantly ambitious,” said Magade, adding that the seven million target made nonsense of the country’s population demographics.

“Zimbabwe has about 15 million people and out of those 15 million, between 50 and 55 percent are under 18, so they would be ineligible anyway to register to vote.

“Over and above that, a significant number of our citizens are in the Diaspora and at any rate, by international standards; registering 70 percent of the targeted population is very good.

“The question would be: has the exercise so far been an unqualified success? I will be modest about it and be gracious enough to concede that probably not,” he said, but then immediately claimed that they would consider themselves to have succeeded if they manage to achieve its new target of five million registered voters.

“Speaking for myself, if we were to register anything beyond seven million people, I would be over the moon. I think this would be an exceptional threshold and we are on our way to meeting that target,” said Magade.


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