Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced that the load shedding being experienced in the country is affecting its voter registration blitz which started on the 12th of March.
So crippling is the load shedding that in some cases it is going for about 16 to 20 hours per day.
The voter registration exercise is critical for the 2023 General elections where young people are said to be holding the deciding card. However, many of them are not registered yet and are expected to take advantage of the blitz.
The voter registration exercise is supposed to go from the 12th to 21st March, 2023, across the country.
However, in a statement, ZEC said the program which started on Sunday is being affected by the current power situation.
“Zimbabwe Electoral Commission hereby notifies the public that it is currently experiencing technical difficulties at some of its registration centres.
“This is due shortages of electricity affecting the charging of the BVR kits. The situation is also worsened by the cloudy weather which affects the solar powered BVR kits.
“ZEC assures the public that every eligible citizen will be registered,” read the statement.
Team Pachedu Suggests Extension
The announcement by ZEC resulted in Team Pachedu suggesting that the voter registration duration should be extend to the 31st of March to compensate for the inconveniences being encountered by citizens.
“The deadline must be extended to 31 March. Many prospective voters have been turned away as a result of these challenges. Extending the blitz is the only viable solution, said Team Pachedu on Twitter.
Former Cabinet Minister during the time of Robert Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo had this to say, “Are you serious about your commitment that “ZEC assures the public that EVERY ELIGIBLE CITIZEN WILL BE REGISTERED”?
Another Twitter user, Julian G Chidzidzi said ZEC”s assurances are worthless unless they extend the registration period.
“Your assurance is worthless unless you extend the blitz period. How will these millions of citizens be registered if you’re only registering 15 per day and your blitz is only for 10 days?
Julian Chidzidzi’s sentiments were also echoed by @philmaster16 who added that the increased load shedding could be a deliberate ploy to prevent young people from registering to vote.
“I’m suggesting that you extend the voter registration exercise. Also, it’s prudent that you increase the human capital and machinery so as to increase efficiency.
‘’But personally, I think the worsening of load shedding in the past days can be a deliberate plot to slow the exercise,” said @philmaster16