Electoral act – 4

In this new series Magari Mandebvu explains the constitutional provisions that govern the holding of elections in Zimbabwe. This supreme law of the land details exactly how the government of they must seek a mandate to govern from the people. We all need to be aware of just how this is supposed to done.

RESIDENCE QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS AND REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

Residence qualifications of voters

In order to be registered as a voter in a particular constituency, you need to be permanently resident in that constituency at the date of your application. If you are away from home temporarily, you can still register at your home. You cannot register in ore than one constituency.

A candidate for election as a member of Parliament for a particular constituency in which he or she is not resident may be registered as a voter in that constituency.

The Commission, any voter registration officer or any officer of the Commission may demand from any voter proof of identity or proof of residence in that constituency in which they want to vote, or both of these. You can prove your identity and address “by other means” than the documents prescribed by the Commission.

I am not sure what “other means” might be. Some clear document that the Commission don’t ask for, or a declaration by a person of some standing; police officer, a pastor, a lawyer &c

How to register

Anyone who wants to be registered on the voters roll for any constituency must complete the appropriate prescribed claim form and submit it to a voter registration officer at any registration office:

If you need help to complete the form, you can ask a registration officer to help you, and s/he must do so.

If you want to register in a constituency where you don’t live, you must lodge a claim form with the Commission, using an address in that constituency where you can be contacted. If you satisfy the conditions, the registering officer must enter you on the roll in that constituency. If you register at the Commission’s offices and they are satisfied, they must instruct the officials in the constituency to enter you on the roll.

The Act does not say what would be an acceptable reason for registering  in a constituency where you don’t live. Maybe having a business there?

If a voter registration officer considers that you should be registered on the roll for some other constituency,  he should forward the completed forms to the right constituency and tell you what he has done.

If you have any complaint against the Commission or voter registration officer you may lodge a complaint with the Commission in terms of section one hundred and ninety.

transfer of registration

If you are registered in a constituency but have now moved to another constituency, or for other reasons want to be registered in another constituency may complete the appropriate claim form and submit it to a voter registration officer at any registration office, and together this form submit any voters registration certificate that may have been issued to you.

If  your application is accepted the voter registration officer shall remove your name from the voters roll of your old constituency; and  forward your name and particulars to a voter registration officer for the constituency to which you want to be transferred. If the voter registration for the new constituency is satisfied that the application is in order they will register you on the roll for the new constituency and notify you as soon as he or she has done so.

But if you want to transfer your registration because you intend to stand for election to parliament for that constituency, you will need to send the form to the Commission for its approval and follow the subsequent steps with the Commission.

If you are not satisfied by  any decision of the Commission or a voter registration officer on transferring you, you can appeal against the decision. Magistrates will be designated to handle such cases in each province; you can appeal to this magistrate in the province where either your old or new constituency lies.

Voters registration certificates

When your application is accepted, the voter registration officer will issue you with a voters registration certificate specifying: your last name, date of birth, national registration number and sex and the ward, constituency, district, province and, in the case of polling station specific registration, the polling station in or for which you are registered.

If you applied for transfer of your registration, your voters registration certificate will be issued by the voter registration officer of the constituency to which you have been transferred.

26A Closure of voters roll before nomination day

No new voter registration or transfer of registration will be made later than the second day  after proclamation of the date of an election

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  1. Nomusa Garikai

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