75 political parties register to contest 2018 polls: ZEC

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Harare – Zimbabwe’s electoral body has revealed that the number of political parties registered to contest the 2018 elections has more than doubled, a report says.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the number of parties to contest the polls has jumped from 35 to 75 with many more expected to join the hotly contested race.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau told a Political Parties Forum on Tuesday that it was now up to the registered parties to make sure that their supporters were registered to vote next year.

She added that to make sure that everyone was registered to vote, an envelope with post office markings reflecting the applicant’s address, a confirmation letter from the owner of a farm or resettlement office, an offer letter and a hospital bill, a clinic or hospital card can now be used as proof of residence.

“I am told that political parties that will be contesting the next general elections that have registered are now 75 compared to the 35 we last had our meeting. Well done political parties. To date, 25 571 people have been registered countrywide as at October 2, 2017,” Makarau was quoted as saying.

This comes amid reports that the often under fire electoral body has received the remaining 2 600 biometric voter registration kits which are expected to bolster its efforts to register voters for next year’s polls.

According to the state owned Herald newspaper, Makarau has confirmed the arrival of the biometric kits, adding that they were undergoing acceptance tests.

The latest consignment brings the number of BVR kits to 3 000.

The kits were provided by Laxton group of China and were expected to be used for the creation of a new biometric voters roll for the crunch polls.

“I can confirm that the kits are in the country now and that at the moment they are undergoing acceptance tests by our technicians and technical experts.

“This is meant to see that they meet the specifications that we gave to the supplier.”

She said the process should end by Wednesday after which the electoral body will know how many [kits]it is accepting of the 2 600 that have been supplied.