Local election watchdog groups the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) have implored the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to consider another voter registration exercise beyond September 2022.
In a joint statement, ERC and ZESN also called on electoral stakeholders to improve work in their various jurisdictions to ensure an effective general election in 2023.
“Considering that the Registrar-General is in the process of an ID blitz up to September 2022, ERC and ZESN implores ZEC to consider another blitz post September 2022 to provide citizens that would have acquired national IDs to be able to register, ahead of the commencement of the boundary delimitation exercise.
“ZEC must improve on information sharing (registration statistics) at the point of registration especially with accredited observers as this helps increase accountability as well as facilitate local groups’ efforts to mobilize citizens to register.
“ZEC must conduct a comprehensive voter education and awareness must precede future voter registration drives to increase turnout for registration and participation in elections. ZEC should seriously consider engaging an independent firm of auditors to audit the voters’ roll, as a confidence building measure following the controversy surrounding the current voters’ roll,” said the advocacy groups.
The organisations urged political parties to deploy election agents in all voter registration centres and increase awareness to improve voter registration.
ERC and ZESN implores on political parties to prepare and deploy agents in all voter registration centres in order to strengthen oversight on the process. Political parties must increase voter education and awareness to their members so that the uptake of the voter registration process improves.
“The Registrar General office must consider continuous relaxation of requirements so as to ensure that all citizens access documentation necessary for participation in the voter registration process,” said the organisations.
ERC and ZESN called on Civil Societies and Faith Based Organisations to increase presence and reach through collaborations in civic and voter education targeted at the voter registration process and urged civil Servants and traditional leaders to discharge their roles and responsibilities in a manner that is non-partisan and in keeping with the relevant laws of the land.