Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
Government is considering waiving fees on identity particulars issued by the Registrar-General’s Office for the second time in order to cater for potential registrants for the forthcoming harmonised elections.
It is envisaged that the waiver is expected to last until the close of the nomination courts before the elections.
This will be the second time following the 90-day waiver that was implemented by Government in September last year to coincide with the voter registration blitz by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
In a recent interview, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said while the majority of the targeted seven million voters have been registered, there still remain some who do not have identity particulars.
“We are noticing that we have incidences where we still have people who do not have identity documents and the concern that was raised is that the majority of our people are being required to pay $10 to get the documents for them to register,” he said.
“We are going to engage the Registrar-General’s Office, as well as ZEC, to ensure that our people get the requisite documents for them to register.
“We want a lot of our people to register and exercise their right to vote.”
Minister Ziyambi added: “We want to extend the period when people can be given identity documents until when nomination closes and then we return to the normal schedule of the Registrar-General.”
ZEC conducted a mobile biometric voter registration (BVR) blitz across the country, which was complemented by the free issuance of national IDs by the RG’s Office.
However, by the time the mop-up registration exercise was conducted by the election management body, the issuance of free IDs had been discontinued.
A High Court ruling also gave a lifeline to Zimbabweans considered to be aliens to participate in the polls.
So far, more than 5,3 million people have been registered to vote in the elections set for later this year.
“The majority of our people have been registered and the few that are remaining can be catered for by the district offices that are still offering the biometric voter registration.
“The more than 5,3 million people that have been registered so far represent a good number,” Minister Ziyambi said.
Government, he said, was mobilising funds for the successful holding of the elections.
Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Webster Shamu had earlier told a Zanu-PF provincial coordinating committee that some people were failing to raise the $10 required to get IDs.
“There are challenges we have been getting of people failing to raise money to get identity documents and also meet transport costs.
“We hope that these issues are given due attention at all levels so that as many of our people are registered to vote,” he said.