Zimbabwean opposition protests against identity card requirement for voter registration

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-30 23:57:50|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

HARARE, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- One of the two opposition parties in Zimbabwean Parliament, the MDC, has raised a red flag over the announcement by Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede that people who do not have plastic national identity cards will not be able to register as voters for the 2018 elections.

Mudede on Tuesday announced that the machine readable plastic identity cards must be used for the bio-metric voter registration (BVR), which is due to begin in October.

Many people still possess metal national identity cards which they obtained prior to the introduction of plastic cards in 2010.

Mudede said his office would roll out a three-month mobile registration program for national identity cards and birth and death certificates starting Sept. 4.

MDC's director of planning, strategy and implementation Ellen Shiriyedenga said in a statement Wednesday that Mudede's move was illegal and meant to prop up President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party by denying some people the chance to vote after failing to acquired the new identity cards.

Shiriyedenga accused Mudede of trying to usurp the responsibility of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Her party, which is led by Welshman Ncube, is the smaller of the two MDCs in Parliament in terms of representation.

Shiriyedenga also questioned whether it was feasible for the registrar-general to issue at least 3 million new identity cards in time to allow BVR to take place ahead of the elections.

"The irony is that, the main national registry offices including Makombe and Market Square (in Harare) currently do not issue more than 70 identity cards a day. It will therefore require serious prophetic powers of extensive multiplication to issue identity cards to all affected people," she said.