Locadia Mavhudzi Midlands Correspondent
Midlands Province has recorded the highest number of people turned away under the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise with 4 616 so far. In a national report released recently, the Midlands province had some remote areas where the BVR team were struggling to access.
According to the report, the majority of people who were turned away for submitting photocopied national identity cards, some were aliens while others were deemed under-age. Chief Mapanzure of Zvishavane said lack of information was the major reason why people were being turned away especially in rural areas.
“Here in Zvishavane, for example, people are hesitant to go and register to vote because they do not understand the biometric registration process. Some villagers are actually afraid of having their pictures and fingerprints taken saying the process is a security threat.
“There is not enough information because most of them do not have radios or money to buy newspapers where these BVR advertisements’ are being flighted,” he said. Chief Mapanzure said the voter education process should have been done way before the registration exercise. ZEC has since engaged village heads to mobilise people to go and register but the response is still low.”
Asked on the proof of residence challenges experienced before, the traditional leader said it was a thing of the past as chiefs and village leaders were authorised to authenticate people’s proof of residence. The province has so far registered 21 percent of the projected voter population. ZEC is targeting to register seven million voters using the 3 000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits procured from China. Each Biometric Voter Registration kit has a capacity to register between 80 and 100 people a day.