Mixed feelings over voter registration

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The just-ended voter registration exercise has drawn mixed feelings from Bulawayo residents, with those who had failed to register labelling the process as chaotic, saying they were not happy with the process.

Report by Pamela Mhlanga

The intensive 30-day voter registration exercise ended yesterday and it was not without controversy.

In separate interviews with Southern Eye at registration centres characterised by winding queues, some disgruntled residents said they had failed to register while others expressed satisfaction over the exercise.

There was drama at Tennyson Primary school registration centre in Hillside suburb when a middle-aged man was left frustrated.

Bradley Frederick crumbled his registration documents in frustration and furiously threw them down before storming out of the voter registration centre before he had registered.

“I am very frustrated because they are denying me my right to vote, these ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) officials are not informing me well about what I am supposed to do, but are just good at confusing me further,” he fumed. I came here early in the morning with all my proper documents including proof of residence affidavit, but they keep on telling me different things.”

Frederick said it was always the same story with ZEC, as they aimed to frustrate the citizens so they would end up giving up.

“I have totally given up and am no longer going to vote because they have denied me that right. I will no longer try to register, I am tired,” he said.

Another resident identified as DD Makgatho said the queue was hardly moving when he turned up to register, saying this was frustrating some potential voters.

“The queue was not even moving and the same people in the queue were stuck to one spot. Some ended up leaving due to frustration and frankly, I was one of them,” he said.

Makgatho said this was the third time he had tried to register and it was always the same story as nothing productive was going on in the area.

Walter Moyo at Luveve’s Beit Hall said he had turned up early and he was not going to give up until he had registered.

“I am going to vote so that Zimbabwe will change and I will not give up because this is the last day for registration,” he said.

Matthias Hiyashe said he was happy that he had been given a chance to register.

“This is such a relief and I am very happy because I came here early in the morning determined to register and I was successful, I am done with everything,” he said.

Sikhumbuzo Nyoni at Beit Hall said he had gone to check his name on the voters’ roll but had given up as the queue was too long.

“The officials should have had separate queues for those who came to check their names and those who came to register, but there is just one long queue,” he lamented.

Nyoni said he had failed to check his name on previous occasions because he was tied up at work.

ZEC officials said there had been an increase in the number of people intending to register in the past two days, with some centres open till 11pm on Monday.