Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has urged the public not to panic and crowd district voter registration centres, as more centres will be established closer to them next month.
This was said by ZEC acting director for voter registration, Mr Collins Munetsi, at a media training workshop in Darwendale, organised by ZEC in conjunction with the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
“The Biometric Voter Registration will come closer to the people,” he said. “There is no need for people to crowd Remembrance (in Harare) for registration.
“People should not crowd district offices as the blitz will come and serve them. We will have centres opened in every ward. People have no reason for incurring expenses travelling to districts. The centres will be published.”
ZEC is targeting to register 80 percent of the people eligible to vote.
“We will have 2 600 (BVR) kits coming in October, but they may come earlier than this,” said Mr Munetsi. “The blitz will come and serve them. The blitz will take two and half months.”
Mr Munetsi said the registration would be done in four phases, with each phase taking 16 days per centre and two days of movement.
The media training workshop was meant to provide an overview of the Electoral Legal Framework governing ZEC mandate, including the electoral cycle and processes, electoral regulations and Biometric Voter Registration as provided for in the constitution of Zimbabwe and Acts of Parliament.
The workshop is also meant to establish a common understanding of how election related issues should be covered, ensuring media personnel understand electoral technicalities and encouraging objectivity and responsible journalism.
ZEC deputy chairperson, Mr Emanuel Magade, urged the media to be responsible when reporting on elections and the BVR process.
“For us to conduct efficient transparent and verifiable elections, your role as media can never be over emphasized,” he said. “Media was hijacked by a few powerful individuals to the detriment of the majority. For example, the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi in the 1990s was aided and abated by the media. Equally, the media has done good things by exposing corruption perfidy and non observance of the law in many countries.”