ZEC blames constant power cuts for disruption of voter registration blitz
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has blamed constant power cuts for the frequent disruption of the ongoing voter registration blitz.
In a statement, the electoral management body said the nationwide electricity load-shedding was negatively affecting the charging of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) hereby notifies the public that it is currently experiencing technical difficulties at some of its registration centres,” read the statement.
“This is due to shortages of electricity affecting the charging of the BVR kits. The situation is also worsened by the cloudy weather, which affects the solar powered BVR kits. ZEC assures the public that every eligible citizen will be registered.”
ZEC released this statement after uproar on social media with critics alleging that ZEC was sabotaging the system.
Opposition aligned pressure group, Register Elect and Protect (REAP), challenged ZEC to immediately fix the problem.
“We challenge the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to address the problems that have been recently discovered from multiple registration centres which include frequent electrical outages, machine failures, and a slow pace of registration by ZEC employees,” said REAP on Twitter.
“These issues threaten the integrity of the electoral process and undermine the confidence of the Zimbabwean people in their democracy,” said REAP.
“ZEC has a responsibility to ensure that every eligible citizen is able to exercise their right to vote freely and fairly.
“This requires adequate resources, efficient systems, and competent staff. The current challenges facing ZEC are unacceptable and demand urgent attention.
“We call on ZEC to take immediate action to address the problems we identified.”
🗳️REGISTER TO VOTE pic.twitter.com/YR55C2ZF4L
— Citizens' Coalition for Change (@CCCZimbabwe) March 15, 2023
The group also called on ZEC to provide regular updates on progress, and to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and accountability in their operations.
“Failure to do so will only further erode public trust in the electoral process and threaten the stability and legitimacy of Zimbabwe’s democracy.”
Zimbabwe is set to hold harmonised general elections later this year.