Extension of voter registration hailed

HARARE - Independent election watchdogs have welcomed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announcement to extend the national biometric voter registration (BVR) blitz exercise from January 10 to February 8.

A total of 4, 897, 482 out of a targeted 7 million people have so far successfully registered as voters for the harmonised elections scheduled for mid-year.

ZimRights said the extension of the BVR blitz programme is commendable and should expand the opportunities that are there for people to freely participate in national elections.

“Going forward, transparency will be imperative in all the preparatory processes that will culminate in a new voters’ roll,” ZimRights said in a statement.

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) appealed to political parties, CSOs and church organisations to encourage the public to register to vote, targeting “aliens”, women, youth, persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups.

“ERC urges Zec to address challenges that affected the previous BVR process, namely, intimidation through the recording of serial numbers of voter registration slips, lack of voter registration affidavit (VR9) forms, lack of commissioners of oaths and electricity outages,” ERC said.

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