Villagers in Zaka district have raised grave concern over the turning away of all eligible voters in most rural mobile voter registration centres due power problems. Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) Community voter mobilizers in Zaka district observed that all the voter registration centres which use solar panels to charge the BVR Machines were forced to shut down from Thursday 7 to Saturday 9 November 2017. The Community Mobilizers expressed that, the ZEC Officials at the affected registration centres highlighted that due to cloudy weather conditions the solar panels failed to provide enough power to charge and run the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) Machines. “We are seriously concerned about the significant number of eligible voter who are turned away at local registration centres which includes Siyawareva clinic, Munjanja School, Chipezeze primary, Mutamba primary and Ferry training ground in Zaka Central. It’s now the third day today (Saturday) since the community encountered such registration challenges”, said Mercy Muziru COTRAD voter mobilizer in Zaka central ward 19.
The voter mobilizers from Zaka North and East constituencies have also cited the same challenges at Chimuka Church, Manyawi borehole tent and other surrounding voter registration centres. Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) officers at registration centres visited by COTRAD voter mobilizers highlighted that the commission has no other alternative sources of power supplies to charge the BVR machines, they also failed to provide dates in which the problem will be rectified. People have expressed that, the problem has frustrated many potential voters who were turned back home three times without registering.
COTRAD Community voter mobilizers have urged ZEC to compensate the lost days so that the blitz will successfully run as it has been scheduled to allow all eligible people to registers as voter. COTRAD will continue to engage the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) for Masvingo provincial Offices advocating for the commission to ensure that all the registration centres in the province have enough equipment and registration Officers fully committed to their work.