Community Development Politics

2023 harmonised elections: potential voters in last minute registration rush

Some of potential voters who thronged Chinhoyi ZEC offices for voter registration

By Elvis Dumba

Chinhoyi – Potential voters expecting to vote for the first time in 2023 harmonised general elections were in the last-minute rush to register as voters as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission closed the registration on 31 December 2022.

In Chinhoyi, scores of bussed potential were buzzing at Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Provincial Offices.

The high number of potential voters also included Zimbabwean diasporans who are in the country for the festive season.

“It will be my first time to vote so when I heard there was free transport for those who want to get registered as a voter, I jumped onto the opportunity,” 18-year-old Chimanga Malianga from Jechenene Village in Mhangura told this publication

A Nemakonde Rural District Councillor who requested anonymity said he brought 54 people from his ward to be registered as voters so that he maintains his ward.

“Remember that there is an expected number of voters for a ward and polling station which may be affected by whether there are too many or few people at a particular polling station or ward so I’m trying to ensure my ward remains intact so that I do not lose some parts through delimitation,” he said.

The two main political parties, ZANU PF and Citizens Coalition for Change, and civic organisations have been encouraging people to register as voters.

“I am in the country for the holidays from Botswana where I work so I saw it wise to take advantage to register as a voter so I can exercise my democratic right in choosing leaders we want,” Gibson Chileya of Mutorashanga said.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s Provincial Elections Manager for Mashonaland West, Austin Ndlovu, said there has been a positive high number of potential voters visiting their offices to register over the festive season.

“We have noticed a surge in the number of potential voters who are visiting our district offices as well as this provincial office to be registered as voters. This can be attributed to people who obtained national identity documents after the mobile registration exercise we did across the province as well as those Zimbabweans who came into the country for the festive season,” he said.

Ndlovu said there is no law that criminalizes the bussing of people to get registered as voters.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende