By Staff Reporter
MDC Alliance Presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has reiterated his pledge to ensure all Zimbabweans of 18 years and above are registered as voters in the country.
He was speaking in a keynote address Thursday during the alliance’s manifesto launch for the 2018 elections.
“Registration of votes is not going to be something where you are asked your serial number. It would be electronic and automatic upon attaining the age of 18 because we will have a data base,” Chamisa said of a country that has generally recorded poor participation levels in its electoral processes among adult citizens.
His comments follow similar sentiments he expressed at SAPES Trust in May last year when he called for compulsory voting among locals while insisting the country should take after Australia where citizens were penalised for failing to vote.
At the time, Chamisa challenged the then Robert Mugabe led government to facilitate automatic registration for all citizens reaching 18 years.
“In terms of our Constitution, Section 67, sub-section 3, every Zimbabwean who is above 18 is supposed to be a voter. It’s a must, it’s peremptory,” Chamisa said then.
“So I am challenging Advocate (Fadzayi, who was in the gallery) Mahere and others to mount a Constitutional challenge and cause the government to have automatic registration of citizens at the age of 18.
“It should not be the headache of the citizen; it should be the headache of the government because it’s an obligation arising out of a Constitution and with this law, you can actually take it further like in Australia and even say, you problematise not voting. Like what is in Australia, you are penalised for not voting.”