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'Zimbabwe's Civil Registry derails voter registration'

by Staff reporter
23 Aug 2022 at 20:37hrs | Views
ELECTORAL watchdogs are concerned that the temporary failure by the Civil Registry to issue identity documents due to broken down equipment will derail the voter registration exercise ahead of the 2023 polls.

Last week the Civil Registry told the public that some of its equipment, including its server were down, hence their failure to meet demand for identity documents.

Sources at the Registrar General's office told NewsDay that government had not paid for the server upgrade to speed up documentation.

Zimbabwe Election Advocacy Trust executive director Igneous Sadziwa said failure to issue identity documents would hinder prospective new voters from registering.

"After years of incapacitation, which saw a huge backlog and demand for national identity documents, we are once again back to default settings. A national information technology system of such magnitude and importance must at least have a contingency backup system to deal with such scenarios," Sadziwa said.

"This has a ripple effect on voter registration because an identity document (ID) is required for one to be on the voters' roll. We view this mishap as a deliberate ploy to curtail voter registration efforts. We call upon relevant authorities to swiftly address this anomaly."

Vote Ekhaya spokesperson Nkosikhona Dibiti concurred with Sadziwa, saying government must come up with a contingency plan to allow services that require IDs to proceed.

"Faults do happen. What is important to us is that once the issue is resolved, members of the public must be informed. There must always be a contingency plan to ensure that people get IDs to allow for voter registration," Dibiti said, adding that the visible backlog at the RG's office of passports and birth certificates needs to be cleared on time to allow people to register to vote.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe