Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter—
THE third phase of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) blitz started yesterday with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission having registered more than 2,3 million people. According to ZEC, a cumulative 2 361 433 people have been registered from the two phases of the registration exercise. “Total voters registered (as at November 13) is 2 361 433. The figure includes figures from the static registration centres for the period 18 September to 9 October 2017. These figures exclude returns or submissions from 704 centres on November 13, 2017 at 4pm due to network and communication challenges. Figures from these remote and inaccessible centres are coming at different intervals as and when they manage to get the network or travel to accessible areas,” ZEC said.
ZEC says the figures will be included in the final tally when they become available. Harare has the highest number of registered voters at 391 316, followed by Manicaland 308 295, Midlands 302 908, Masvingo 300 399, Mashonaland East 285 999, Mashonaland West 234 865, Mashonaland Central 221 515, Matabeleland North 132 696, Matabeleland South 97 227 and Bulawayo 86 213.
The projected voter population figures for 2018 include aliens, foreigners and persons without identity cards as well as people turning 18 in 2018. ZEC says since registrants can register anywhere in the country, they do not necessarily reflect the number of registered voters specific to a particular province. The commissions experienced challenges brought by heavy rains, hailstorms and whirlwinds.
“Registrants could not go to registration centres to register in areas such as Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland North and South. When it is cloudy and raining in areas where there is no electricity, it is a challenge to charge kit batteries with solar energy and this affects registration. “Measures to counter this include transporting kits to areas with electricity and using hired vehicles to charge the batteries,” said ZEC.