July 24 2017 – 2018 VOTERS can write their own affidavits as proof of residence, says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau.
“We have been asked – but many women do not have this. The lease agreement, title deeds, rent card is in the husband’s name, so how do I prove my residence as a woman,? says Makara while giving oral evidence before the Women Affairs Committee of Parliament last week, adding that Zimbabweans were free to their own statements for approval by relevant authorities.
“Well, you can if you want to, by getting a letter from your husband confirming that you reside with him at that address.
“If he is not talking to you that morning or you aren’t in good books, you can still register by deposing an affidavit yourself. Simply saying ‘I Rita Makarau I reside in Vainona so help me God’. That will be good enough.”
The clarification was aimed at allaying fears and quell protests by opposition parties and civil society organisations which condemned the proof of residence requirement for voter registration.
With the majority of urban voters being lodgers, the parties felt the requirement would disenfranchise millions of Zimbabweans from enjoying the right to choose their leaders.
An affidavit is a written statement of facts, sworn to and signed by a deponent before a notary public or some other authority having the power to witness an oath. The document costs about $0, 50 and certifying one $0, 20.
ZEC targets to register at least 7 million voters. Zimbabwe has a population of 13 million and 52 percent are women.
Responding to requests for affirmation instead of affidavits, Makarau said the two are complimentary and serve different religious groups.
She claimed that the registration system is designed to ensure all citizens who want can register to vote. – allafrica.com