On 10 October 2017, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), launched a Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) blitz across the country. The blitz is a follow up to the launch of the BVR by President Mugabe on the 18th of September 2017. The registration process will last for 72 days and it will be held in four phases with each kit spending 16 days at the established centre. The first phase begins on the 10th of this month until the 25th, the second phase begins on the 29th up to the 13th of November, third phase from the 16th of November to the 1st of December and the fourth and last phase on the 4th to the 19th of December 2017.
Heal Zimbabwe through its resident human rights monitors in all the country’s 10 provinces is monitoring the environment during the voter registration exercise. This is being done with the objective of monitoring the environment and report on any cases of human rights violations during the process as well as making referrals where possible for redress. In 2016, HZT established an early warning and early response system for easy detection and response to cases of human rights violations.
Below is an update of the voter registration process from 09-13 October 2017:
Gokwe North ward 36
ZANU PF member, Edson Chiherenge intimidated community members during a community meeting conducted at Chikova garden on 9 October 2017. He ordered community members to submit serial numbers of their registration slips soon after completing registration to their village heads and ZANU PF cell structures. Chiherenge further highlighted that the BVR process will detect where people would have voted for.
Gokwe North ward 36
On the 9th of October 2017, Councillor Charles Mapishu intimidated village heads during a meeting conducted at Mhumha Primary School. Councillor Mapishu instructed village heads to ensure that they collect serial numbers of registration slips from community members who would have registered to vote. He further highlighted that the BVR machines will detect and disclose candidates whom people would have vote for.
Gokwe North ward 13
ZANU PF member Kanongovere Hofisi on the 10th of October 2017 ordered community members in ward 13 to submit serial numbers of their registration slips to him immediately after registration. Kanongovere also informed community members that the BVR kits also allows ZANU PF to detect candidates that people will vote for on the day of the election.
Gokwe Nembudziya ward 24
On 09 October 2017, ZANU PF ward chairperson Christopher Matsike announced to people who were registering to vote at Ukomo Primary school that they should submit serial numbers of the registration slips to him.
Mashonaland East Province
Mutoko South ward 28
Councillor for ward 28, Jerry Masendeke charged community members $0.60 each to authorise their proof of residence. This took place in Nyamuzizi Resettlement area on the 11th of October 2017.
Mudzi ward 1
Village heads Mukombwe and Mbwadzi refused to issue proof of residence to opposition party supporters at Nyamapanda Primary school ward 1 on 11 October 2017.
Mudzi North ward 7
On 12 October 2017, unidentified ZANU PF youth were compiling names of people who were registering to vote at Dendera Primary school. The youth also forced several community members to submit serial numbers of their voter registration slips to them.
Mashonaland Central Province.
Guruve South ward 7
On the 12th of October 2017, a ZANU PF member, Christopher Pagaravanhu addressed a meeting in Gweshe village and instructed village heads to deny food aid to community members who refuse to submit serial numbers of their voting slips to them. Pagaravanhu also announced that he will compile names of people as they register to vote.
Mbire ward 17
On 12 October 2017, ZANU PF Chairman Shuden Bandera intimidated community members at Majongwe Primary school by telling them that the BVR process will assist ZANU PF to identify all opposition party supporters in the ward.
Muzarabani ward 8
On the 12th of October 2017, ZANU PF District Chairman, Denshot Mazarura instructed Village heads who were registering at Cargill Zimbabwe offices in Muzarabani to ensure that people register in groups. Mazarura further highlighted that the BVR machines will detect voting patterns and disclose candidates who community members would have voted for.
Muzarabani ward 27
ZANU PF District Chairman, Clive Mazonde intimidated community members who were registering to vote at Museredza Primary School on the 13th of October 2017. He highlighted that the BVR machines will detect where people would have voted for.
Buhera South ward 30
ZANU PF member Hardlife Chofamba intimidated community members who were queuing to register to vote on the 13th of October 2017 at Nechishanyi Primary School. Chofamba highlighted that the BVR machines will detect which political party one would have voted for and threatened violence on all those who shall choose to vote for the opposition.
Chipinge ward 6
Councillor Phinias Muzamana intimidated community members on the 11th of October 2017 at Gaza Primary School. He highlighted that the BVR process will allow ZANU PF to monitor voting patterns and all those who choose to vote for opposition parties shall be beaten and evicted from the area next year.
Chimanimani West ward 4
On 13 October 2017, ZANU PF Branch Secretary, Saita Nyamadzawo compiled names of people as they were registering at Chitinha registration centre.
Chivi South ward 1
On 12 October 2017, Village head Mukacha refused to issue proof of residence to community members at Chitanga Primary school who failed to pay him $1 for the proof of residence.
Chivi South ward 25
On 13 October 2017, Village head Mupigo refused to sign affidavit forms for 10 opposition party members.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe