Stick to international standards of voter registration, Zec told

Poll watchdog, the Election Resource Centre (ERC), urged the election management body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), to conduct the national voter registration process that conforms to the international principles of voter registration.

Under section 239 (c) and (d) the election management body is supposed “to register voters” and “to compile voters’ rolls and registers”

In a statement the ERC executive director, Tawanda Chimhini, said “The voter registration process must be fair, comprehensive, and inclusive and easy to complete it.”

He added: ” The Commission must minimise or must make sure that there is no systematic exclusion of any group including the vulnerable and marginalized populations.”

Chimhini’s recommendations comes after President Robert Mugabe on Friday proclaimed September 14, 2017 as the day that the national voter registration exercise will begin and end on January 15, 2018.

The President made the announcement in a Statutory Instrument of a Government Gazette published on Friday the 8th of September.

“… Under and by virtue of the powers vested in me as president, I do, by this my proclamation … fix Thursday, the 14th September, 2017, as the date upon which the new registration will begin; and fix Monday the 15th of January, 2018, as the latest day upon which claims and applications for registration shall be received in all wards and constituencies,” reads part of the proclamation.

Chimhini said special measures are required to eliminate all barriers that might  disenfranchise prospective voters.

Zimbabwe will hold make or break harmonised elections next year.