Zimbabwe begins biometric voter registration ahead of polls next year

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-14 17:32:53|Editor: Zhou Xin
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HARARE, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's electoral body begins biometric voter registration on Thursday in preparation for general elections next year.

Zimbabwe is for the first time using the biometric voter registration system to compile a new voters' roll, which means that all voters including those previously registered must register afresh.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported that President Robert Mugabe will launch the voter registration exercise Thursday.

"We are hoping that President Mugabe will launch the program ...in the morning and thereafter we are going to continue with registration in public of a few invited guests," the newspaper quoted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Rita Makarau as saying.

The voter registration exercise will run until January 15, 2018 as proclaimed by Mugabe last week.

ZEC has so far received 400 kits for biometric voter registration and another 2,600 are still expected.

ZEC has said it will start countrywide voter education in October.

Meanwhile, the government has scrapped off charges to acquire identity documents by members of the public during the 90-day mobile registration blitz being conducted by the Registrar General's Office ahead of the 2018 polls.

This was in response to a plea from the public that the charges were high. The Registrar General's Office was charging between 5 U.S. dollars and 10 U.S. dollars to replace national identification cards.

ZEC is targeting to register 7 million voters for the 2018 elections, up from 6.8 million registered in the previous 2013 elections. President Mugabe, 93, will seek re-election in next year's polls.