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More than 1 700 people have so far inspected the voters’ roll, while 369 others have been turned away by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for various reasons as preparations for Mt Darwin West and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe by-elections continue.

The two by-elections and another one for Ward 15 of Chinhoyi Municipality, will be held on March 27.

Documents required for registration include a national identity card or a valid Zimbabwean passport and proof of residence.

A national identity card or valid passport are also required for the inspection process.

Zec acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana yesterday said most of those turned away were in wrong constituencies, under-age, while others did not have the required documents.

Mr Silaigwana was speaking while addressing political parties and journalists in Harare on the voterregistration inspection exercise for the by-elections which started on Tuesday and will end next Tuesday.

“Two days after the outreach programme, 1 704 people had inspected the voters’ roll, 336 appeared and made corrections where there were errors in capturing, while 318 initial registrants had come forward,” he said.

“At least 396 transfers had been effected and 369 people had been turned away for various reasons.

“As you can tell from the statistics, the response is nothing out of the ordinary and it is against this background that Zec deemed it prudent to call upon you in order that we join hands in mobilising people to register, especially those who turned 18 since the July harmonised elections and those who have never registered.”

Mr Silaigwana said it was their belief that the political parties as primary stakeholders could also make a difference by urging supporters to visit the registrationinspection centres to inspect the voter’s roll and register where necessary.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with taking the first step and in this regard, Zec has taken its first step towards voter registrationvoter inspection through a pilot exercise in line with what we resolved at the all stakeholders’ conference held sometime in December 2014,” he said.

“We embarked on this pilot Voter RegistrationVoter Inspection in the said constituencies and ward on 26 January 2015 by initially confining the registration and inspection centres to the districts and provincial offices in the affected constituencies and ward.”

Mr Silaigwana said Zec had done its part by deploying both Voter Registration and Voter Education teams.

“Political parties, it is your duty to ensure that all those who are eligible to register do so and it is in your best interests,” he said.

“The media also has a role to publicise the exercise.”

Zec recently established 139 registration and voter’s roll inspection centres for the Mt Darwin and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe by-elections.

This also came as the Registrar-General’s Office had started conducting a national identity and death registration exercise in the two constituencies to enable prospective voters to acquire documents for voter registration.

Zanu-PF’s Cde Auxilia Mnangagwa will battle it out against Mr Gadzamoyo Dhewa of Good People Movement, Mr Munashe Mutodza of the National Constitutional Assembly, Ms Abigail Musambasi of Transform Zimbabwe and Mr Willbroad Kanoti an independent in Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe.

In Mt Darwin Zanu-PF candidate Cde Barnwell Seremwe will contest against Mr Kenard Fungai of Transform Zimbabwe, Mr Cyril Muradzi of the Freedom Front of Zimbabwe and the National Constitutional Assembly’s Rueben Mafigu.

MDC-T and MDC Renewal have chickened out of the by-election, saying they want electoral reforms first.

Source : The Herald