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Published: 18 December 2017 (719 Views)
Zec requires $8 million to extend voter registration exercise

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has applied for $8 million to extend the mobile Biometric Voter Registration beyond its deadline which is tomorrow.

The BVR blitz programme which started on October, 16 is scheduled to end tomorrow.

On Friday, Zec revealed its intention to extend the mobile blitz and has already approached the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development seeking additional funding for the programme.

Addressing Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and North, Masvingo and Midlands provinces in Bulawayo, Zec's Commissioner Dr Qhubani Moyo said it was the commission's hope that Government will give it the required funding.

"This now calls for the commission to do a mop up exercise but for that to happen, the commission needs at least $7,9 million. We have since submitted that budget to Treasury and we are waiting for a response. We are hoping that it will be positive so that we undertake the mop up exercise," said Dr Moyo.

He said Zec called for BVR programme extension after problems that they encountered during the early stages of the registration programme as well as last month's political developments.

"We realised that there was low voter response in the beginning of the blitz. We also realised that there was apathy in Phase Three in some provinces and we are yet to investigate the causes of the apathy. We suspect apathy could have been as a result of political developments which diverted the people's attention," said Dr Moyo.

"The Commission is seriously considering extending the registration period. We are still engaging to see what the possibilities are but there is a strong feeling that there should be an extension in order to cater for early teething problems and problems that we faced in November."

Dr Moyo said the High Court ruling that citizens with alien status can register to vote was another reason that led Zec to consider extending the programme.

He said when the mobile registration ends, static registration will continue and only end 12 days after the proclamation of election dates.

He said Zec was committed to holding credible elections and it was illegal for political parties and traditional leaders to demand registration slips from registrants as this translates to soft intimidation of people.

"Our pledge and commitment to the Zimbabwean people is that come 2018, we are going to deliver a free, fair, verifiable and well inclusive election. As they say the taste of the pudding is in the eating, the world will judge us not from what we say but what we do and we are prepared to follow the provisions of the country's Constitution," he said.

- Chronicle

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