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    Tuesday, 31 October 2017

    Record low voter turn-out in Mwenezi


    NKULUMANI MLAMBO

    MWENEZI – Mwenezi East and West constituencies which were expected to register more than 90 000 voters have only managed 43 000 by 24 October this week and this has been attributed to high rate of migration from the area to South Africa. 
    The 43 000 include Chivi South constituency.
    The number is less than 47 000 people registered to vote in the April 2017 by-election in Mwenezi East alone which was won by Zanu PF's Joosbi Omar.
    The two Mwenezi constituencies are traditionally a stronghold for Zanu PF.
    The BVR run by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) begun in the constituency on 15 October and ran for 10 days to. Voters were being registered at Polling Stations in their Wards.
    Zex Pudurai who is ZEC Provincial officer confirmed the figures to The Mirror in an interview on Tuesday this week.
    He said projections were that Mwenezi East alone should have 60 000 registered voters because it had 30 000 new arrivals at Chingwizi in addition to the 27 000 that have always been in the constituency. Mwenezi West was also expected to register 30 000 voters.
    "The number of people who have turned up to register in Mwenezi is disappointing. Mwenezi East alone should have at least 60 000 voters because of the Tokwe Mukorsi relocations which added over 30 000 on top of the 27 000 who were already there.
    "The low turnout could be attributed to a number of factors like the migration of people to South Africa looking for employment opportunities.
    "There are other reasons though where other people have decided to register in neighbouring constituences. Others don't have IDs and its taking long to get one from the Registrar General's office," said Pudurai.
    Bishop Lyphet Matenda Mugaviri of the Zion Christian Church-Kumuka Kuvakafa said although the process is going on smoothly the issue of ID is has affected many people.
    Chief Chitanga told The Mirror that those who require proof of residence are getting them without any delay and without paying anything, but attributed the low voter turnout to a culture of wanting to do things on the last day.
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