Political impasse disturbs BVR

By Langton Ncube| The Civil society has recommended for the suspension of the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration process (BVR) until the political situation stabilizes.

Tawanda Chimhini, the director of the Zimbabwe Election Resource Centre (ERC) told reporters, diplomats and members of the civil society at a joint press conference they held with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) in Harare this week, that the number of people registering to vote had drastically decreased since last week Wednesday when the political situation became volatile.

The military last Wednesday took to the streets after taking over power from the former President Robert Mugabe.

The Army said they had taken over the control of government in order to deal with “criminals” surrounding President Mugabe.

“Over the past few days the rate of BVR registration has actually gone down, because of the environment which is to us of a major concern,” said Chimhini.

“This brings us to the question of the environment which elections processes are conducted, the fact that you cannot consider proceeding with electoral processes when the environment is naturally not conducive for the free will and free participation of Zimbabweans. So clearly the ongoing uncertainties have had a bearing on people’s participation in electoral processes and the longer this plays out the more likely it will affect the roll out of the subsequent electoral process,” he said.

ZESN chairperson, Andrew Makoni, should either suspend the ongoing BVR, or consider extending the time frame of the  process.

“We urge the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to complete the BVR process and possibly be extended beyond previously scheduled dates as current indications are showing low turnout in some regions,” said Makoni.

“The pathway to the next election should be defined by the time required to implement  the aforementioned key reforms that are pertinent to the holding of credible elections in Zimbabwe,” said the ZESN boss.

Government through ZEC has since the beginning of the  BVR two months ago, registered plus or minus three million (3 million) potential voters against a target of eight million (8 million) potential voters.

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