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Registration slip not evidence you are on voters’ roll: Chigumba

In a move that may further disrenchise first time voters, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has indicated that a voter registration slip “does not mean automatically your name has been added onto the voters’ roll”.

ZEC has been under pressure over allegations that it is manipulating the voter registration exercise to deny first-time voters a chance to participate in the upcoming by-elections.

A few weeks ago, the commission caused controversy after initially claiming only 2 000 had registered as first-time voters throughout the year, but later revised the figure to 2 951 after citizens mounted pressure.

Addressing journalists at a press conference in Victoria Falls on Thursday, ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said being given a registration slip, a proof showing that one has registered, did not necessarily mean one would be automatically added to the voters’ roll and eligible to vote.

“Registering to vote does not mean as soon as you are handed a voter registration slip to show you have registered to vote that does not mean automatically your name has been added onto the voters’ roll,” Chigumba said.

She added that “there is another process which happens after you register to vote which is a process whereby the documents that you have submitted to be registered to vote are verified by our system.

“We have two systems of verification. Firstly, we verify your national identity if it is genuine. The next thing is we verify your fingerprints which we run through a system called automated fingerprint verification system.”

Chigumba said ZEC would hold a voter registration blitz in April for purposes of ‘sanitising the voters’ roll which would then be used in the delimitation process.

“The reason we have a voter blitz in two phases, one in February and one in April is that after April we then clear the voters’ roll for purposes of delimitation because we anticipate that the delimitation process will be started after August of 2022 which is when the final census report will be tabled before Parliament.

“We do voter registration and start cleaning the data in order to determine who should be on the voters’ roll and who does not have authentic documents,” she said.

“April voter registration blitz is the final blitz which we will use to have registered voters who will inform the delimitation process.”

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