By Takudzwa Changadeya
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has taken heed to Citizens Coalition for Change’s (CCC) call to extend the final nationwide mobile biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise.
The voter registration which was initially set to end on March 21 has been extended by a further five days.
Addressing members of the fourth estate on Thursday, CCC’s Election Directorate member Ellen Shiriyedenga pointed out some of the major challenges which were impeding the voter registration blitz currently underway, including the frequent malfunctioning and scarcity of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) machines, electricity outages and the impact cylclone Freddy induced bad weather conditions in some areas.
“As the CCC we are in the process of compiling the list of areas that have been affected for example in Chipinge because of cyclone Freddy there was no registration which took place and also the malfunctioning of ZEC machines,” said Shiriyedenga.
“There were quite a number of BVR machines malfunctioning. We have for example in Gutu Central, Ward 35 there was one machine in Mabugu primary school and that machine malfunctioned and it only started to work at 3 pm. Subsequently ZEC was only able to register 7 people that day because remember the cut-off time is 5pm,” she said.
She added : ” … it is only reasonable and justified for the Commission to critically consider the following: An extension of the days in areas that were significantly affected by technical glitches or bad weather.” she said.
Meanwhile, ZEC has listed nearly 5 000 centres that citizens who are eligible to vote can get registered during the mobile biometric voter registration currently underway.
Zimbabwe is gearing towards the 2023 harmonised elections and Mnangagwa gazetted the final delimitation report last month, which marks the country’s constituencies and wards.