Outrage Over Proof Of Residence Requirement


The Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technology has urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to scrap the ‘proof of residence’ requirement needed when one is registering biometrically.

This statement comes at a time when ZEC expects to have 7 million registered voters by January next year. ZICT joins several political parties and non governmental organisations that  have been pushing for the undoing of the proof of residence requirement. 

ZICT joins other Zimbabweans who feel this requirement is a drawback to those itching to register and cast their ballot next year.

Below is the full ZICT statement

As Zimbabwe Information and Communication Technologies (ZICT) we would
like to congratulate the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for
introducing the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR). Zimbabwe as a
sovereign nation like Ghana and Kenya is turning to biometric voting
systems to help support fair, credible elections absent of fraud and
illegal practices to protect the country’s democratic principles.
Establishing election integrity is a cornerstone of modern democracy
that promotes trust and honesty in elected governments and promotes
confidence and faith in elected leaders. The results of recent biometric
voting exercises in countries such as Kenya and Ghana have taught us
that governments expect fast, accurate, and reliable voter registration
at the polls under any conditions that help to maintain the integrity
and credibility of the electoral process and reduce mistrust and

The requirements for one to be registered voter, the Biometric Voter
Registration (BVR) requires one to produce proof of residence and
Identity particulars in the form of paper or metal or plastic IDs or
valid passports. Zimbabwe is a country where the majority of the
population live in the rural areas and according to statistics only 25%
of the adult populations are homeowners. What these statistic indicate
is that the majority of the possible voters will not be able to register
because they will not be able to produce proof of residence. This will
be a disaster for Zimbabwe’s voting process and will bring to shame our
beloved country.

Please may I remind ZEC on what biometric verification or biometric
authentication means, it is a way which a person can be uniquely
identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing biological traits.
Unique identifiers include fingerprints, hand geometry, earlobe
geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves, DNA, and signatures.
The oldest form of biometric verification is fingerprinting. Biometric
verification has advanced considerably with the advent of computerized
databases and the digitization of analog data, allowing for almost
instantaneous personal identification. Using BVR its means we are all
unique and there is no possibility of voting twice. With this personal
identification there is no need for proof of residence in a country
where the majority are not homeowners.

It is common knowledge that our country is going digital with majority
of our billing services going paperless, including local authorities,
ZESA is now on prepaid no bills are send out and our banks have gone
paperless. Where is one going to get proof of residence and why add
paper to a paperless voting process. ZEC should go closer to home and
learn one or two lessons from NSSA who have gone through the same
process of biometric registration successfully.

ZEC there is no need for proof of residence when you are using the best
technology identifier called Biometric. Let us make the 2018 election a
credible success and remove this only obstacle in the voting process.

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