ZimRights resumes voter registration mobilisation

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has resumed voter mobilisation roadshows targeting during the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) mop up exercise.

The organisation visited and conducted roadshows in Budiriro, Genview, Glenorah, Highfield, Kuwadzana and Dzivarasekwa from Thursday to Saturday.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, ZimRights conducted a review of the voter mobilisation campaign with a focus group of voter registration mobilisers, who were trained and deployed at the beginning of the BVR exercise, from across the country.

Speaking at the meeting, ZimRights Senior Programs Officer, Leo Chamahwinya, revealed how the issue of the collection of serial numbers had left people in some rural areas intimidated and afraid of registering.

“We want to create an insulated voter who is not intimidated, or swayed by freebies. Or let’s create a sophisticated voter, who gives people serial numbers, but know it doesn’t affect their choice.

“In Zhombe, we were being told that their serial numbers are being collected from registration slips.”

ZimRights has been trying to allay fears about this illegal activity affecting voting through mock voting sessions.

In Chipinge, ZimRights voter registration mobilisers had to engage authorities such as councillors and the police to stop the malpractice.

Voter mobilisers had to engage the District Administrator in Goromonzi after village heads had initially refused to give villagers proof of residence without producing a chicken, which is required for one to be put in the village register.

The issue was resolved after the DA met with the village heads and instructed them to give proof of residence without the chicken.

While the decision to grant aliens the right to vote was welcomed in many parts of the country, the requirement for long birth certificates as part of the requirements for them to register as voters presented a challenge.

Noel Ambiyano said: “For instance, my father could not register because he does not even know where to get the information to obtain the long birth certificate. So he still can’t register to vote.”

In areas like Kadoma, it was revealed that people failed to get the confirmation slips after registration due to shortage of stationery, and the slips had not arrived at the end of the Phase 4 of the BVR blitz on December 19.

By and large, the interventions by ZimRights under the #10x10campaign, where mobilisers visited churches, village gatherings, farms and mines.

The organisation will take the lessons learnt from the review meeting into the period after voter registration ends in February to encourage people to vote.

Source: ZimRights