By Lesley Hova | Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of theb 2024l3 presidential candidates, yesterday shamelessly called on Zimbabweans to visit and verify the voters’ roll to make sure their data are accurately recorded. At the moment, the voters’ roll copy had been withheld from the public.
Prior to his anticipated announcement of the election date today, the President made this statement yesterday after verifying his information with his wife, Auxillia Mnangagwa, at Sherwood Primary School in Kwekwe.
“As the 2023 harmonised general elections draw closer, I call upon all voters to inspect the voters roll to ensure that their details are correctly captured,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.
The state media claims that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on Saturday finally opened the voters’ roll to be used in this year’s harmonised elections for inspection in an exercise that is expected to run until May 31.
Inspections will be carried out at all the 1,159 polling stations, while prospective voters can also check their names using the USSD code *265# if they are Econet or NetOne subscribers and also on the ZEC’s website (www.bvrinspection.zec.org.zw), the announcement said.
On Saturday, ZEC chief elections officer Mr Utloile Silaigwana said the exercise could be extended in some centres.
“Owing to logistical and other unforeseen challenges, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform members of the public that some voters’ roll inspection centres may start operating much later than the anticipated time on 27 May 2023. The Commission may consider extending this exercise scheduled to end on 31 May 2023 by a day in affected areas,” he said.
The centres will open between 7 am and 7 pm and people are required to bring a National Identity Card (metal, plastic or waiting pass with the holder’s picture) or a valid Zimbabwean passport.
“The cut-off date for the purposes of producing the voters’ roll for this inspection exercise was 28 April 2023. Those who registered on or before 28 April 2023, are encouraged to inspect the voters roll at their ordinary polling stations which have been designated as inspection centres for purposes of this voters roll inspection exercise. Note, your name will appear only at that inspection centre if that centre is your designated polling station,” Mr Silaigwana said.
He added that anyone with queries should direct them to their respective provincial elections officers or the ZEC’s head office in Harare.
Preparations for the elections are gathering steam with President Mnangagwa on Saturday saying he would today announce the date when they will be held.
ZEC deputy chair Ambassador Rodney Kiwa said voter registration would continue until two days after the proclamation of the poll dates as stipulated.
“Our cut-off date for the purposes of this inspection was on the 28th of April so what it means is the registration continues but not at the inspection centres but will continue at our 68 districts as well as the 10 provincial centres.
“Registration will continue until two days after the proclamation of the election date by the President,” he said.
Ambassador Kiwa said the electoral body was gearing for the successful holding of free, fair and transparent elections.
To this effect, he said, the commission had come up with a roadmap that would be followed once President Mnangagwa proclaims the election date.
“We are very much ready and getting prepared and some of the activities that we are undertaking, for instance, are the procurement of sensitive and non-sensitive materials including pens, indelible ink and so forth as well as ballot papers, we are all geared for that.
“Not only that, we are also training our people, electoral officers so that they are prepared and they know exactly what is expected of them when the President announces the date,” Ambassador Kiwa said.
“In that regard, we have a road map and once the President announces the date we are going to follow and it includes publicity whereby we will be engaging the media through whom we will be informing our public through radio, television, fliers and anything that will help us to reach our people so that they participate in the harmonised elections.”