HARARE, Sept. 19– Voter registration for Zimbabwe’s 2018 harmonized elections begins Monday.
This will be the first time since independence in 1980 that the voters’ roll will be administered outside the Registrar-General’s Office following the adoption of a new constitution which transferred the responsibility to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau was quoted in Monday’s Herald saying that continuous registration would begin Monday while a registration blitz would be conducted in October. “For the voter registration blitz, we needed 15 million (U.S.) dollars and Treasury has since supported us to that tune. “The money is there and that is why we are saying we are ready. All we need is for the people to come and register now. We urge them to come forward and exercise their right to register and vote in the forthcoming elections,” she said.
ZEC has said it is targeting to register about 7 million voters for the 2018 harmonized Presidential, legislative and local government elections, where President Robert Mugabe is likely to face a challenge from a coalition of opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai was prime minister in a coalition government with Mugabe between 2009 and 2013. However, his health has been a worry to his supporters after he was airlifted to South Africa for treatment last week. He announced in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon.Mugabe, 93, has been Zimbabwe’s sole leader since the country attained independence from Britain in 1980. – XINHUA