By Gwendoline Mugauri
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has confirmed that extension of the biometric voter registration exercise will commence from the 10th of January to the 8th of February, in a move that is expected to accommodate people who had not been able to register due to various reasons with special emphasis on the aliens.
Initially, the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede had ordered that individuals classified as aliens, must renounce their dual citizenship as a prerequisite to be issued with new identification cards, to enable them to register as voters.
The High Court of Zimbabwe however overruled the decision on the 29th of November and ordered the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to register “aliens” as prospective voters in preparation for the 2018 harmonized elections. The court order therefore probed the need to extend the biometric voter registration exercise as it was already in its third phase.
In an interview with Capitalk FM News, ZEC Acting Chairperson Commissioner Emmanuel Magade said the extension would allow all previously disadvantaged groups of people to register as voters.
“Initially some people were left out especially aliens, before the High Court judgement. There are also people who did not have the necessary identification particulars when our team visited their areas, while some people were unavailable and missed the registration due to various reasons; we are giving them a second chance to make sure they register. There are also ‘youths who had not turned 18 during the time of registration and have since turned 18, we intend to register that group of people as well,” said Mr Magade.
To date, ZEC has registered 4,9million voters during its four phased biometric voter registration blitz conducted countrywide last year.
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