REGISTRAR general Tobaiwa Mudede has denied refusing to register as voters what his office describes as “aliens”.
The country’s new constitution allows people born of parents from the SADC region to register as voters but an official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently said scores had been turned away from registration centres.
Tsvangirai’s chief secretary, Ian Makone claimed that dozens had been turned away from centres in Gonoronzi and, instead, referred to the army’s KGIV barracks in Harare for police clearance.
Mudede however, dismissed the allegations in a statement Wednesday.
“People are only turned away on the basis that they have inadequate documentation required for one to be eligible to register as a voter, that is national identity document, or valid passport and proof of residence,” he said.
“However in the event that one fails to provide, affidavits to be completed by the applicant are readily available at the registration centres.”
He added that the production centre for passports, as well as a fingerprint bureau, were located at a facility close to the KGIV army barracks and people were only being referred there to ascertain their citizenship status.
“The registrar general’s department would also want to clarify that as part of the procedure to ascertain citizenship of an individual, one is taken fingerprints which are sent to the fingerprint bureau for classification,” he said.
“For urgent classification a person may be required to take fingerprints to the fingerprint bureau in person.
“The production centre for passports and fingerprint bureau are situated next to the Zimbabwe National Army Barracks referred to as KGIV not to say they are situated in the barracks.”
Mudede recently rejected criticism over his office’s continued use of the term “alien” to refer to people of foreign origin.
“They are aliens,” Mudede when quizzed by MPs over the issue during a recent hearing before a Parliamentary committee.
“Whether someone does not want to hear the word 'alien' - it is unfortunate because we will pronounce it.
“It is not only pronounced in Zimbabwe, but the world over and the word is not alien to Zimbabwe as all SADC countries have aliens, and we have attended meetings in SADC and the AU and have taken that position.”