ZEC struggling to meet BVR target

ZEC struggling to meet BVR target
Published: 06 December 2017 (122 Views)
The last mile of the marathon is always the hardest.

With the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) blitz approaching its last and final phase, it has become evident that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has a mountain to climb. Registration statistics are still falling below the halfway mark as only 137 870 people in Bulawayo out of an approximated 440 000 have registered as at 01.12.2017(source -www.zec.gov.zw). With less than 40 days to go before the BVR comes to an end it will take a miracle for ZEC to attain its target which currently stands at 33% of the intended target.

Failure to achieve this target has been attributed to a number of geo-socio-political factors that have negatively contributed to the whole process. The timing of the BVR coincided with the rainy season which in recent years has been characterised by heavy thunderstorms. Infrastructural damage of registration centres such as tents and classrooms put registration on a temporary halt is some areas. This season is also associated with subsistence farming activities which are labour intensive requiring whole families to be engaged resulting in divided attention towards the BVR.

The historic power dynamic shifts that engulfed the nation for over ten days almost drove the BVR process to a standstill as evidenced by the sharp decline in registration statistics during this period.

With BVR being a new process, it was expected that ZEC will embark on a vigorous and robust Voter education strategy. However, this is not the case as the Commission has taken a stereotype approach in disseminating electoral information. This in turn has resulted in a disinterested electorate hence the low turnout in most registration centres.

Calls for an extension of the BVR process are being made by different players within the electoral field so as to enable every eligible citizen to register to vote. However, for any extension to be effective it must engage a comprehensive and inclusive Voter Education strategy in reaching out to the electorate.


- online

Tags: ZEC, BVR, Target,
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