Married women miss out

Married women failed to vote after realising their names had been changed to their husbands’ surnames without their knowledge.

Not enough women had the opportunity to vote due to voters’ roll irregularities.
Not enough women had the opportunity to vote due to voters’ roll irregularities.

Women voters whose identity documents did not match their husbands’ names were turned away, despite providing identity documents with their maiden surnames.

At Unit L shopping centre polling station in Ward 18, Chitungwiza North, 67-year-old Sarah Rusamu visited at least four polling centres in the area searching for her name on the voters’ roll, only to find it under her husband’s surname: Muzinyi.

“They have practically disenfranchised me,” said Rusamu. “All these years, I have been voting only to be told at such a crucial election that I cannot vote.”

She accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of failing to educate the electorate on such an important adjustment to the voters’ roll.

“They should have given us ample time to check for our names are on the voters’ roll. My marriage certificate is in the rural areas and there is no way I can make it to and fro before they close,” she said.

At Seke 7 primary school, another registered voter who refused to be identified was turned away because her name was no longer on the voters’ roll.

“I married my husband in 2011 and changed my surname. I am no longer on the voters’ roll, although I went to the registrar general to register as a voter soon after getting my marriage certificate,” she said.

She accused ZEC of exhibiting double standards by purporting that they were ready for elections yet they had not rectified such pertinent issues on the voters’ roll.

“People should know why their names are not on the voters’ roll. The responsible body should explain why people’s names are erased without death certificates,” she said.

Post published in: News

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