Frequently Asked Questions on Voter Registration
The Election Resource Centre (ERC), is a poll watchdog, whose vision is a Zimbabwe with transparent, credible and inclusive democratic and electoral processes at all tiers of society. In a bid to provide credible information, strategic services and deliberative platforms that aim to improve the quality of democracy and elections in the country, the ERC has partnered with The Standard newspaper to address questions on elections from readers. The questions will be answered in the next edition of the publication.
Who is eligible to register?
Every Zimbabwean citizen who is 18 years and above is eligible to register as a voter. Section 67 (3) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe stipulates “Every Zimbabwean citizen who is or over eighteen years of age has the right to vote in all elections and referendums to which this Constitution or any other law applies, and to do so in secret. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) also announced that “aliens” need to “regularize” their status with the Registrar-General’s Office to allow them to register as voters.
What is needed to register?
Proof of Identification/ citizenship
- A Zimbabwe national registration identity document (metal, plastic or green waiting pass), or
- A valid Zimbabwean passport
- Proof of residence
Section 4 of Statutory Instrument 85 of 2017 (Voter Registration Regulations) provides that, “For the purposes of registering as a voter any one of the following documents which legibly show that the claimant is a citizen of Zimbabwe of or over the age of eighteen years shall constitute proof of identity and citizenship- (a) a national identity document, that is to say, an identity document in terms of section 7(2) of the National Registration Act [Chapter 10:17]; or (b) a “waiting pass” that is to say, a notice in writing in terms of section 7(1) of the National Registration Act [Chapter 10:17] which includes a photograph of the bearer; or (c) a valid Zimbabwean passport.”
What is a proof of residence?
Section 5 of the recently gazette Statutory Instrument 85 of 2017 (Voter Registration Regulations) lays down 13 documents which may constitute proof of residence as highlighted below:
(1) For the purposes of registering as a voter the following documents shall constitute proof of residence- (a) title deeds or a certificate of occupation; (b) a lodger’s permit issued by the relevant local authority; (c) rates, water. electricity, telephone or credit store statements on which is shown the claimant’s name and physical address; (d) a statement from the landlord, parent or friend of the claimant confirming that the claimant resides at the stated place of residence accompanied by any of the documents in paragraph (a}, (b) or(c) in the name of the landlord, parent, friend or such other person at whose residence the claimant resides; (e) a statement confirming that the claimant resides at the stated place of residence made by the head of a school, hospital or other public institution where the claimant resides; (f) a statement confirming that the claimant resides at the stated place of residence made by or on behalf of the person in whose name a mining location is registered in the area where the claimant resides; (g) a statement by the claimant’s employer confirming his or her address; (h) a confirmation letter by the relevant councilor, Village head, headman or Chief confirming that the claimant resides in the ward he or she claims to reside in; (i} a confirmation letter by farm owner or resettlement officer confirming that the claimant resides in the ward he or she claims to reside in; (j) an offer letter proving that the claimant is in lawful occupation of the land to which the offer letter relates; (k) a hospital bill or a clinic or hospital card or an envelope with post office markings reflecting the claimant’s address.
(2) A voter registration officer shall- (a) require a claimant to swear/affirm a residence affidavit if the residence document produced to the officer is illegible or if there is any reasonable doubt as to the document’s authenticity or validity; (b) in the case of a claimant who says that he or she is unable to obtain any residence document, accept from the claimant a residence affidavit.
(3) Any person who makes a false statement in a residence affidavit shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding a year or to both.
Where do I register?
A continuous voter registration process will take place at the ZEC Headquarters in Harare, provincial and district offices. ZEC may embark on a mobile voter registration exercise (specific venues to be announced by ZEC).
When is voter registration beginning?
ZEC, which is mandated by Section 239 (c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe “to register voters,” indicated that voter registration may begin in October 2017 and will run for 72 days until December 2017. Official dates to be advised/announced by ZEC.
Questions can be sent via email at email@example.com, whatsapp 0774767556, The Standard and ERC Facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/thestandardzim/? and https://www.facebook.com/ElectionResourceCentreZimbabwe), ERC and The Standard Twitter pages (@erczimbabwe and @thestandardzim) and The Standard and ERC website pages (www.thestandard.co.zw and www.erczim.org).