ZEC clears air on ‘alien’ voters
Collen Murahwa Herald Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has clarified the confusion regarding the voting rights of the so-called “aliens”, saying they were eligible to register as voters.ZEC chief elections officer Ms Constance Chigwamba said in a statement that those born in Zimbabwe and had one or both parents not born in Zimbabwe, but in any Sadc country, were eligible to vote under the country’s electoral laws.
“It has come to the attention of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that there may be some confusion regarding the rights of certain Zimbabwean citizens born in Zimbabwe and where one or both of their parents were not citizens of Zimbabwe, but citizens of a country belonging to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to register to vote in the forthcoming Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise,” she said.
“ZEC reiterates that these Zimbabweans are eligible to register to vote in accordance with the electoral laws like any other Zimbabwean citizen.”
Ms Chigwamba urged Zimbabweans classified as “aliens” to proceed to the Registrar-General’s Office to have their citizenship confirmed.
“Only Zimbabwean citizens will be registered as voters,” she said.
“Therefore, persons who, before the promulgation of the 2013 Constitution were issued with identity documents describing them as ‘aliens’ must forthwith proceed to the offices of the Registrar-General to have their citizenship regularised and confirmed.”
Ms Chigwamba encouraged Zimbabweans above the age of 18 to have proper documents which qualify them to vote.
“ZEC calls on the Zimbabweans over the age of 18, wishing to register as voters to be a Zimbabwean citizen, be over the age of 18, be able to produce proof of identity in the form of a National Identity Card (metal, plastic or waiting pass with holder’s picture) or a valid Zimbabwean passport and produce proof of residence,” she said
“If any of the documents required to prove identity and citizenship have been defaced or have become illegible, prospective voters are urged to approach the offices of the Registrar-General forthwith and request to be issued with replacement documents.
“On the dates of the BVR registration exercise, ZEC will not register any person whose citizenship is not confirmed by the National ID or other identity document lawfully issued by the Registrar-General. ZEC does not grant or deny citizenship. ZEC can only register adult citizens as confirmed by the Registrar-General.”
Added Ms Chigwamba: “ZEC, therefore, encourages all Zimbabweans, especially those hitherto incorrectly referred to as aliens, to have their identity documents regularised now so that they are not disenfranchised in 2018.”