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ZEC suspends voter registration amidst MDC-A poll mobilisation

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has suspended a voter registration blitz which was scheduled for the 6th of December amidst a massive opposition MDC Alliance poll mobilisation drive.

Since the beginning of this year, the opposition embarked on a voter registration campaign mainly targeting the youths ahead of the blitz that was initially supposed to start in November but it was postponed to December.

ZEC in a statement addressed to the executive directors and deputy directors from the commission’s acting chief executive officer Jane Chigidji announced the suspension of the December voter registration blitz.

“Please be advised that the mobile biometric voter registration exercise, which was scheduled for December 6, 2021, has been rescheduled to a later date to be announced in due course,” read part of the statement.

ZEC’s “unprofessional” decision to indefinitely cancel the voter registration blitz has been viewed by observers as an intention to disenfranchise the youth.

On Sunday, MDC Alliance Youth Assembly leader Cecilia Chimbiri was with colleagues in Harare South mobilising the young people to register to vote ahead of the opening of the facility.

MDC Alliance Youth spokesperson Stephen Chuma said: “Ready to rumble and roll! The Youth Assembly leadership as led by Commander Cecilia Chimbiri is coordinating and mobilizing for the upcoming voter registration blitz. This is Harare South, Hopley on Sunday.”

In a statement, MDC Alliance condemned the suspension of the voter registration facility.

“We remain deeply concerned at the continued failure by ZEC to take seriously its constitutional mandate to register voters. No reasons have been given for the failure to conduct the voter registration blitz. Voter suppression must fall,” read the statement.

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) also expressed concern and issued a statement saying that the move, if implemented, would help the youth to vote in numbers.

“ERC notes with dismay at the postponement of the voter registration blitz scheduled to begin on December 6, 2021, which was aimed at addressing under-registration and affording new voters, who have turned 18, a chance to register.

“Voter registration is arguably one of the most important pre-election activities as it ensures equitable participation in elections, enhances voter turnout and impacts on the delimitation of constituency boundaries,” the ERC statement read. Nehanda Radio

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