|Referendum: Observers accreditation begins|
|Wednesday, 06 March 2013 15:33|
Accreditation of observers of the constitutional referendum scheduled for the 16th of March starts in Harare, Masvingo and Bulawayo this Thursday.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Deputy Chairperson, Joyce Kazembe said the Accreditation Committee sat on Monday to consider the applications that have been forwarded to the electoral body by those wishing to observe the referendum.
The Accreditation Committee comprises of the ZEC chairperson, the deputy, the ZEC secretary, representatives of the Immigration Department as well as those from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice and Legal Affairs.
Mrs Kazembe said a total of 35 applications from individuals, regional organisations and government related entities had reached the ZEC offices by Monday and more are still coming in.
Of the 35 applicants, 21 are local organisations while 14 are foreign and regional groups.
She clarified that network organisations have been asked to unpack their compositions so that every member submits its own application to ensure transparency in the accreditation process.
Mrs Kazembe said while all embassies in the country were allowed to send observers, it is not yet clear whether it is still the same case in the coming referendum.
She once more stressed that observer missions should be non-partisan and that they should not assume the role of monitors.
The minimal fees being charged are US$10 for local entities and US$20 for foreigners.Â
Meanwhile, ZEC says every Zimbabwean citizen who is above 18 years of age is eligible to vote in the referendum.
With less than two weeks before the constitutional vote, most Zimbabweans seem to be unaware of the voting requirements.
Whether or not there is any prior voting registration and where the polling stations will be located remains unknown to many.
Mrs Kazembe said every Zimbabwean citizen who is above 18 years of age is eligible to vote and there is no registration required.
She urged every eligible Zimbabwean voter to participate at the designated polling stations.
â€œWe are encouraging Zimbabweans who are above the age of 18 to come in their numbers and vote. All they need to do is to bring their identification cards,â€ she said.
Mrs Kazembe said the voting for the harmonised elections is different from the referendum as eligible voters for the harmonised elections are required to have registered with the Registrar General (RG)'s office.
She said the registration for the harmonised elections is currently underway at the RGâ€™s office.