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The Chronicle

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Democracy and elections are like love and trust; neither can be sustained without the other.

Free, fair and credible elections allow the citizenry the right to participate in decision-making and choosing leaders. In any case, without free, fair and credible elections, there can never be a smooth transfer of power.

This is why the Government of Zimbabwe responded to concerns that some citizens could fail to vote due to lack of identity documentation.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Ruth Maboyi said the Civil Registry Department had to conduct a mobile registration exercise to address such concerns from stakeholders.

“We have a lot of people who are not registered to vote and most of the time we’re told that they’re failing to register to vote because they don’t have IDs. So, the ministry, through the Civil Registry Department, saw it prudent to roll out the mobile registration programme to  enable the public to obtain national documents which are a precursor for them to register to vote,” said Deputy Minister Maboyi.

“We believe that through the programme that we have rolled out, there’s no excuse for anyone not to obtain an ID as well as register to vote. We encourage every citizen to obtain an ID and register to vote.”

The ongoing national ID blitz is a major step in ensuring the credibility of Zimbabwean elections. All eligible citizens have been given the opportunity to register as voters well ahead of national elections.

A political analyst we quoted yesterday said the streamlining of services by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Civil Registry Department is a positive step towards holding free and fair elections.

Untitled 14 7 Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)

“This shows the Government and ZEC’s commitment to their constitutional obligations. On the Government side, there’s a commitment that free and fair elections are held at any given interval as prescribed by the Constitution that there should be general elections every five years,” Mr Teddy Ncube said.

“Government has made efforts to ensure that everyone is given a chance to vote and any obstacles affecting the right to vote are removed. A free and fair election doesn’t start at the ballot.

“It starts at the preparation time and doing things like voter registration, and voter education so that the election is a true reflection of the democratic will of the citizens of Zimbabwe.”

It is also worth mentioning the ZEC was established as an independent body in line with the recommendation in the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections that elections should be run by an independent management body and not by a Government department.
Electoral management bodies are the most important organisation in a democratic process as they are charged with the delivery of free and fair elections.

Zimbabwe has all the pillars for free and fair elections: an independent electoral management body, and open voter registration, to name a few. And now, Government has gone a step further through the mobile registration programme.

We urge all Zimbabweans to take advantage of these democratic processes which will allow them to vote for the leaders they want.

The future of your country is in your hands!

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