HUNDREDS of prospective voters in Bulawayo are failing to register for the forthcoming harmonised elections, after being turned away for failing to meet the stringent requirements.
BY MUSA DUBE
The Standard last week visited some mobile centres and met frustrated residents who criticised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for demanding “unnecessary” documents before one can be registered as a voter.
Prospective voters are required to produce various documents that include national identity cards or passports and proof of residencebefore they can get registered.
Tenants are also required to produce a confirmation letter from the owner of the house in addition to other documents such as their IDs, electricity and water bills.
However, the requirements did not go down well with many tenants, as they made up the bulk of those that were turned away.
“This is purely rigging. How can they demand proof of residence that bears our name when they know that the majority of us are lodgers and do not own houses? This is just a ploy to make sure that some of us in the urban areas do not vote during the elections,” complained Philemon Mhlanga of Mpopoma high-density suburb.
Mary Moyo of Magwegwe, said she was disappointed that her constitutional right to vote was shattered after being turned away from voting on similar grounds.
“I am just coming from Magwegwe Hall to register but I failed because they wanted proof of residence and a letter from my landlord. My landlord is in South Africa,” said Moyo.
On Friday, ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau reportedly met political parties where she announced that ZEC has waived voter registration requirements for those without documentary proof of residence.