Zimbabweans registerig in large numbers for 2008 Presidetial election-ZESN (08-07-07)

By Marcus Mushonga

DESPITE the low publicity in the voter registration exercise, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has said Zimbabweans are coming out in their numbers to go and register in the 2008 elections.
According to a ZESN update pub

lished this week and based on the organisation’s secretariat observations in Harare, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central the turnout has been high at centers that it has visited.
“When the ZESN team visited the Mbare Netball grounds registration centre on Monday 2 July there were over 300 people queuing to register as voters as well as to obtain other identification documents,” said ZESN in the update.
School children, said ZESN, were also milling around waiting for their opportunity to register as voters and an equally high turnout was witnessed at Nyachuru Secondary School in Mazowe District. Mashonaland Central.
At Copley Farm in Mashonaland Central there were about 50 people waiting for a chance to obtain identification documents.

The organisatin said turnout was however low in Harare as evidenced at Glen Norah District Office when the ZESN team visited the centre on Wednesday 4 July 2007.
“Most people at these centers claimed that they had not seen the newspaper adverts that publicized the voter registration exercise. This was particularly the case at Nyachuru Secondary School, Copley Farm and Mhandu Primary School in Zvimba District, Mashonaland West,” said ZESN revealing that only five people at Mbare Netball Grounds claimed to have seen adverts in the newspaper.

In some areas people however expressed their determination to follow the team to next registration centers, described the time ascribed for voter registration as being too short.

“The people were pessimistic that they would be registered at the centers considering the slow pace at which they were being served. Some claimed that they had been at their centres for two days and were yet to be served.”
Although registration for those between 16 and 18 was for free, said ZESN, all those above 18 were supposed to pay $25 000-00.

“Those seeking to replace lost Identity cards were expected to pay $30 000-00. Some people who spoke to ZESN, at Copley Farm and Nyachuru Secondary School on this issue expressed concern that the amount was too exorbitant considering that they were poor and unemployed peasants,” read part of the update.

ZESN in the update, however emphasised the need to adequately equip the mobile registration teams with all the necessary resources in order for the mobile registration exercise to run smoothly.

It also suggested that a more comprehensive door to door voter registration exercise be carried out- CAJ News.

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