The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has extended the special mobile voter registration by another five days from next Wednesday to March 26 following technical problems the commission is facing as a result of power supplies.
ZEC has been facing mobile registration delays because of bad weather characterised by overcast conditions affecting their solar powered registration units.
Voters have expressed happiness over the extension of the special registration exercise and said it will allow for the registration of more voters.
Mr Fredrick Matsa from Goromonzi said he was grateful that ZEC extended the registration as he wanted his son, who turned 18 early this month, to vote for the first time.
“Words cannot express how happy I am because I want my son who turns 18 on March 6 to register and vote, and experience the voting process. Because of school, he had not registered yet, but now I think with the extension he will have enough time to register,” he said.
Sunway City resident Mr Phillip Murisa also said the extension of the voter registration will allow for the registration of more voters.
“Some people could not vote because they would be tied up with work and other different commitments but the extension can allow them to vote over the weekend. This is a good move as it will increase the number of voters on the voters roll,” he said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Epworth resident Ms Petronella Mutumhe who said: “I also think that this is a good move as it will allow more people to register to vote.”
Mrs Ida from Sunningdale concurred with Ms Mutumhe and said the extension was a good move as the primary elections had been postponed.
“The Zanu PF primary elections have been postponed so I think extending the voter registration exercise will pave way for more people to register especially those in the remote areas that were affected by the tropical storm Freddy,” she said.
ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba recently appealed to intending voters to be patient as the situation was expected to improve.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform members of the public that some technical hitches have been encountered during the recently launched mobile voter registration exercise resulting in delays at some registration centres,” she said.
“This is mainly a result of bad weather which is affecting the solar charging system of registration machines, especially where there is no grid electricity. The commission is appealing to all stakeholders to be patient as the situation is expected to improve within the next few days.
“It should also be noted that heavy rains have affected mobility in some parts of Manicaland contributing to further delays in the voter registration exercise at some centres in that province. Despite these challenges, prospective registrants are still encouraged to visit mobile voter registration centres near them on the scheduled dates.”
Justice Chigumba assured stakeholders that the Commission was doing its best to ensure that no one is prejudiced by the unforeseen circumstances. The national mobile biometric voter registration exercise began last Sunday with some people excited that they will be voting for the first time this year.
The exercise which had a budget of $24 billion and is being conducted by ZEC and its conclusion will pave way to undertake follow ups including opening the voters’ roll for public inspection which will lead to the elections.
Voters can register at any time, but during the mobile blitz, ZEC goes out of its way to bring registration units to where potential voters live and work, rather than having them travel to the fixed registration centres. Herald