Amanda, a friend of mine, organised a Voter Registration Party to celebrate her birthday. She encouraged a group of friends to meet up at Mount Pleasant Hall to register to vote. Afterwards we went to a pub for a cold one where we swapped stories about our experience.
Everyone I met at the registration centre – people just hanging around, ZEC officials, other aspiring registrants – were all super friendly. A slightly drunk homeless guy made people laugh, a very flash BMW without number plates but with a VIP ZANU PF sticker was parked willy-nilly right in front of the entrance to the hall, and kids ran around laughing and playing in the dirt.
I spent about an hour waiting my turn to register. I passed the time playing with baby Esnath whose mother was a proud first time potential voter. But, let’s remember, just because you register doesn’t mean you have to vote. You might well end up feeling your choice of candidates aren’t up to scratch. Take Mugabe, for instance.
I looked around the dilapidated Mount Pleasant Hall with a combination of disgust and sadness. You can see the sky through the broken roof; the floor tiles are so buggared in places that there’s a pothole in the centre of the room.
I took my passport as my ID. I wasn’t asked for any proof of residence. The ZEC officials were tired by the time I was there (3pm) but they still cracked a joke and they got the job done efficiently.
Top Tip Number One: make sure you check that the data capture of your details is accurate. My ID number had been recorded incorrectly – mistakes happen.
The people in Amanda’s Voter Registration Party included a filmmaker, an activist, a publisher, an administrator, a health advocate and a 91 year old environmentalist who used a walker to make her way to the BVR machine.
My dog came along too but he couldn’t vote which is sad really because he’s barking mad for change.
Source: Bev Clark