Lack Of National IDs Disenfranchises New Voters: RACER

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By Mandipa Masenyama

THE Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms (RACER) has blamed the registrar general’s department for failing to issue national identity cards saying it was hindering the voter registration exercise.

“The situation has been compounded by the failure by the registrar general’s department to issue national identification documents that would allow people to register as voters. If this is not addressed there is a high risk that several potential voters will be disenfranchised,” Khumalo said.

“The proclamation of the dates for by elections is a huge relief to residents across Zimbabwe who suffered from poor representation, deteriorating service delivery and impacted negatively on the practice of good democratic governance in local authorities,” the former legislator said.

In a bid to address the issue of national identity cards, RACER said it will engage the registrar’s office and parliament.

“In light of these challenges, the Residents Coalition for Electoral Reforms will be engaging ZEC and the Registrar General’s Department as well as Parliament,” Khumalo added.

However, RACER expressed concern over the inaccessibility of voting registration centres in some parts of the country due to long distance and urged political parties to consider gender equality when choosing their candidates.

“Political parties must show their commitment on gender equality in terms of electoral representation by using the by-elections as a way of increasing women representation in local authorities through fielding women candidates. Above these issues, we note with concern the inaccessibility of voting registration centres in some parts of the country due to long distances involved and this has resulted in ZEC registering a limited number of voters,” said Khumalo.