Chiefs stymie voter reg process

MDC supporters in Mberengwa who want to vote have accused their local chiefs of refusing to issue them with confirmation letters so that they can register.

A democratic right: Why should a mere headman decide whether one can participate in an election or not?
A democratic right: Why should a mere headman decide whether one can participate in an election or not?

Would-be voters in rural areas are required to produce, among other documents, a confirmation letter from either a chief or a headman as proof of residence before they can be registered by the Registrar General’s office.

Chiefs and headmen are said to be abusing their powers by denying perceived MDC supporters the confirmation letters.

“A lot of our supporters in Mberengwa are being denied the letters by chiefs who are apparently getting instructions from Zanu (PF) officials. My own sister is being denied the letter and yet she stays in Chief Mutevaidze’s area. If something is not done as a matter of urgency a lot of people, especially those who have just turned 18, will not be able to exercise their democratic right,” said the MDC–T chairman for ward17, Nyasha Zhou.

Given the partisan nature of most traditional leaders in the rural areas, they should not participate at all in the he electoral process he said.

“Since 1980 people have been using national identity cards to register as voters. Why should a mere headman decide whether one can participate in an election or not? This is a very serious anomaly,” said Zhou.

The voter registration process has also came under heavy criticism from urban dwellers, especially lodgers who are also required to provide proof of residence from their landlords

before they are registered.

Post published in: News

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