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Zec must notify stakeholders on time

25 Feb 2022 at 07:13hrs | Views
AS part of their commitment to supporting democratic development and promote credible, transparent and accountable electoral processes in Zimbabwe, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) are observing the voter registration blitz on an independent and non-partisan basis for all Zimbabweans.

The joint observation effort will provide citizens and key stakeholders with accurate, timely and credible information on the voter registration blitz.

In order to gather factual and verifiable information on the conduct of the 2022 voter registration blitz, ERC and Zesn deployed one volunteer per constituency who will observe periodically the entire voter registration process and provide weekly reports on the political environment.

These individuals were carefully recruited from local communities following a strict criterion and adhering to gender balance.

These observers underwent a thorough training programme on the voter registration process, direction on what to observe, and when to report during the voter registration period.

Additionally, during the training, observers signed a code of conduct acknowledging that they were non-partisan. Zesn and ERC will release periodic reports on the inclusivity, transparency and accountability of the voter registration blitz.

In late October 2021, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) announced that it planned to conduct a voter registration blitz beginning early December.

Zec later said the voter registration blitz would occur simultaneously across all 210 constituencies in two phases, with the first beginning on December 6, 2021 concluding on December 20, 2021 and the second phase starting on December 28, 2021 concluding on February 1, 2022.

Approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled start of the first phase, Zec postponed the entire voter registration blitz to early February 2022.

The reason it gave for the delay was to provide additional time for Zimbabweans to obtain national ID cards, a key requirement for one to register.

Zec did not provide the new dates of the voter registration blitz until January 13, 2022 and it was at this time when it announced that the voter registration blitz was to run from February 1-28, 2022 with the second phase running from April 11-30, 2022.

Lack of sufficient notice and uncertainty of the timeline creates confusion among individuals who wish to register or update their registration

This also makes it difficult for other stakeholders, including political parties, civil society and observers to adequately prepare to engage in the process.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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