ZIMBABWE’S 2018 presidential hopefuls, Morgan Tsvangirai, Nkosana Moyo and Elton Mangoma (pictured) are yet to turn up for the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise, joining millions of locals who continue to snub the process.
Mangoma, on his part, went further to say he was not yet ready to legitimise what he dismissed as a shambolic process under a ‘captured” Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The three are among the five presidential candidates that have since declared their intentions to contest the 2018 polls.
President Robert Mugabe was first to have his details entered into the new electronic system when he officially opened the process at State House last month while his former deputy-turned-opponent Joice Mujuru also took time to register. Mujuru was recently unveiled as People’s Rainbow Coalition leader.
Tsvangirai, who is MDC Alliance leader and substantive MDC-T president, lost a lot of time in recent weeks while seeking treatment outside for a colon cancer related ailment.
But even during his agonising moments in South African hospitals, he could still afford to urge locals to turn up in their numbers for the BVR process which started 14 September and ends 15 January next year.
Away from the hospital, Tsvangirai is yet to demonstrate the same enthusiasm through showing up at a registration centre.
Similarly, Elton Mangoma, the recently unveiled Coalition of Democrats (CODE) front-man and substantive Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe president, is among millions that continue to shun the BVR process.
“Mr Mangoma has not yet registered as a voter,” Mangoma said of himself when asked why he has not.
“We are not going to rush in and ‘blanketly’ give Zanu PF the comfort that we are all supporting the BVR and that we have forgotten all the other reforms that we want.”
The former Energy Minister outlined a number of conflict areas the opposition was still having with ZEC, top among them being lack of clear information on how ZEC planned to conduct the polls to everyone’s satisfaction, alleged intrusion by state agents into ZEC processes, state sponsored violence and guarantees of opposition access to uncontaminated data on the BVR server.
“So until these things have been removed and attended to and acknowledged, why should I register very quickly?” Mangoma said.
Asked why he had not yet registered, Nkosana Moyo, who is Alliance for the People’s Agenda leader, also said he was planning an event when he shall turn up at a BVR centre.
“We are working on creating an event out of my registration. The necessary pieces are not yet in place,” he said.
The delay by the country’s presidential candidates in registering to vote could dampen the spirits of many locals who are still skeptical about the country’s electoral processes ever being the solution to their myriad problems.
The country’s opposition is keen to see more people register amid growing concerns opposition strongholds such as Bulawayo and Matebeleland North have largely stayed away from the registration process.
Under a million Zimbabweans have since registered to vote throughout the country since the process started over a month ago.