The biometric voter registration (BVR) system was rolled out throughout Zimbabwe’s 63 district centres a few days ago but so far, the process has been painstakingly slow and thoroughly inefficient.
For instance, at Remembrance Drive district offices in Mbare, Harare, hundreds of aspiring voters had turned up as early as 6am on Wednesday morning, September 20, 2017. However, by mid-day, less than 50 people had been able to register as voters.
The MDC calls upon ZEC to urgently and immediately up their game if the BVR system is to be a success. Only one BVR machine is being used at each and every registration centre and of course, this has caused unnecessary delays in the voter registration exercise. ZEC has a constitutional obligation to undertake a credible, efficient and transparent voter registration exercise but so far, the situation on the ground leaves a lot to be desired. We demand more seriousness and focus on the part of ZEC.
As Zimbabwe’s largest and most popular political party, the MDC, through its various agents who have been deployed on the ground nationwide, has noticed that ZEC is not entirely ready to roll out a massive BVR system. We, therefore, demand that the remaining 2600 BVR kits that are still to be delivered to ZEC by Laxton Group Limited be shipped to Zimbabwe as a matter of extreme urgency.
In addition, the MDC also demands full details, chapter and verse, of the company that is supplying the central computer system that is being used for the BVR system. This information is essential in order to give credibility to the whole BVR system. ZEC has to come out clearly and unambiguously and advise the nation about the source of the central computer system and also how this system is going to be operated.
We have also noticed the uncalled for use of the ZRP anti–riot Police officers, especially at the Remembrance Drive district offices in Mbare, Harare. The mere sight of ZRP anti–riot Police officers at a voter registration centre is very intimidating and frightening. Zimbabweans should be left to peacefully register to vote in a conducive and non–intimidating environment. Thus, Police presence should only be reasonable in order to maintain peace and tranquillity.
ZEC should openly admit that so far, the BVR system, particularly in urban areas, has been nothing short of shambolic. Be that as it may, the MDC would like to call upon Zimbabweans to be patient and to turn out in their millions to register to vote. The Zanu PF regime sustains itself on voter apathy and voter intimidation.
All eligible Zimbabweans should register to vote and make sure that on polling day next year, the rabidly corrupt and fascist Zanu PF dictatorship is booted out of power permanently. The toiling and suffering masses of Zimbabwe deserve to be led by a legitimate, people – centred, democratic, efficient, competent and accountable government.
MDC: Equal Opportunities for All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson