Zanu-PF voter reg­is­tra­tion cam­paign goes gear up

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Fari­rai Machivenyika and Felix Share

ZANU-PF has called on its mem­bers to regis­ter to vote in next year’s har­monised elec­tions fol­low­ing the of­fi­cial launch of the Bio­met­ric Voter Reg­is­tra­tion ex­er­cise by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe on Thurs­day.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe launched the ex­er­cise at State House and be­came the first per­son to be reg­is­tered un­der the new sys­tem that will be used to cre­ate a new vot­ers’ roll.

ZANU-PF Sec­re­tary for Administration Cde Ig­natius Chombo said the revo­lu­tion­ary party had al­ready started mo­bil­is­ing its mem­bers to regis­ter.

“We have al­ready started mo­bil­is­ing our sup­port­ers to regis­ter to vote and now that the reg­is­tra­tion ex­er­cise has started we call on all ZANU-PF mem­bers to come out in their num­bers to regis­ter and vote.

“We ex­pect a re­sound­ing vic­tory in next year’s elec­tions as ZANU-PF is the only party that has as­pi­ra­tions of peo­ple at heart,” Cde Chombo said.

On Thurs­day, the ZANU-PF Youth League threw its weight be­hind the revo­lu­tion­ary party’s elec­tion plan say­ing it was tar­get­ing to con­trib­ute over 60 per­cent of the five mil­lion sup­port­ers the party in­tends to regis­ter for next year’s har­monised elec­tions.

The ZANU-PF com­mis­sariat depart­ment has de­vel­oped an elec­tion plan ahead of the polls.

The strat­egy has been ap­proved by the Polit­buro.

Speak­ing dur­ing a ZANU-PF Youth League na­tional ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing in Harare, the wing’s sec­re­tary Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga said the youths would be piv­otal in hand­ing the revo­lu­tion­ary party an­other crush­ing vic­tory.

“We are alive to the fact that the party is tar­get­ing five mil­lion votes come 2018 and we need that to cas­cade to all our party struc­tures,” he said.

“As youths, we con­sti­tute about 60 per­cent of the na­tional pop­u­la­tion and there is need for us to also con­sti­tute more than 60 per­cent of the an­tic­i­pated five mil­lion votes. There is no rest. We will only rest the day Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe will be sworn-in.”

Cde Chipanga said to achieve this, the Youth League was tak­ing stock of its struc­tures.

“We need to know how many mem­bers we have as the Youth League, those reg­is­tered and not reg­is­tered,” he said.

“We also need to know what the prob­lem is with those not reg­is­tered. This will as­sist us in en­sur­ing that ev­ery­one above 18 years gets reg­is­tered.”

The Zim­babwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (ZEC) seeks to regis­ter about seven mil­lion peo­ple us­ing the bio­met­ric voter reg­is­tra­tion (BVR) sys­tem.

The reg­is­tra­tion ex­er­cise started on Thurs­day.

Cde Chipanga re­vealed that the 2018 21st Fe­bru­ary Move­ment cel­e­bra­tions will be held in Man­i­ca­land.

He said prepa­ra­tions were un­der­way for the event.

“We are happy that 21st Fe­bru­ary has been de­clared a pub­lic hol­i­day. We are thank­ful to Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and his Cab­i­net,” he said,

“It means fi­nally as young peo­ple we have been recog­nised by Gov­ern­ment. We are now five months away from Fe­bru­ary next year and we have to start our prepa­ra­tions well in time. To­day we are of­fi­cially launch­ing prepa­ra­tions for the event, which are go­ing to be held in Nyanga, Man­i­ca­land.”

He added: “This must be the mother of all cel­e­bra­tions be­cause of the achieve­ment we have reg­is­tered. We have to re­cip­ro­cate and at­tend the cel­e­bra­tions in masses. Prepara­tory com­mit­tees have been ac­ti­vated to en­sure a suc­cess­ful event.”

On the on­go­ing Pres­i­den­tial Youth In­ter­face Ral­lies, Cde Chipanga said the two out­stand­ing prov­inces (Harare and Bu­l­awayo) re­quired mas­sive mo­bil­i­sa­tion.

“They should be a suc­cess just like the other eight other prov­inces,” he said.

“We have not dom­i­nated them, but the poor per­for­mance be­ing reg­is­tered by op­po­si­tion par­ties shows we are re­gain­ing con­trol of the cities. We are sure peo­ple want ZANU-PF to rep­re­sent them in lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and Par­lia­ment in those cities and this is the op­por­tu­nity to de­liver vic­tory.”

All the in­ter­face ral­lies held in other prov­inces have been highly sub­scribed.

ZANU-PF ex­pects to mo­bilise at least five mil­lion peo­ple to regis­ter to vote and has al­ready em­barked on mo­bil­i­sa­tion pro­grammes across the coun­try.

Apart from Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe, the First Lady, Dr Amai Grace Mu­gabe, Vice Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa and his wife Aux­il­lia and Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko and his wife Lau­rinda were also reg­is­tered at the of­fi­cial launch.

The BVR ex­er­cise will be rolled out to all of the coun­try’s 63 dis­tricts on Mon­day to mark the be­gin­ning of the con­tin­u­ous reg­is­tra­tion as re­quired by the law.

The Zim­babwe Elec­toral Com­mis­sion has so far re­ceived 400 kits some of which have been used to train tech­ni­cians that would be in­volved in the reg­is­tra­tion ex­er­cise.

ZEC will then con­duct a na­tional blitz to regis­ter all reg­is­tered vot­ers once the re­main­ing 2 600 kits are de­liv­ered with the reg­is­tra­tion cen­tres ex­pected to be es­tab­lished in each of the coun­try’s wards.

To regis­ter to vote peo­ple would be re­quired to pro­duce a valid na­tional iden­tity doc­u­ment and proof of res­i­dence.

ZEC has tar­geted to regis­ter seven mil­lion peo­ple.

The com­mis­sion will hire at least 8 500 peo­ple for the ex­er­cise.

Reg­is­tra­tion of vot­ers for the har­monised elec­tions will close 12 days af­ter nom­i­na­tion day.

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