Voter inspection will commence in the next 2 days throughout Zimbabwe as the country gears into full election mood. As the nation prepares for these critical elections, it is important to say ‘Asante Sana’ (Thank you!) to the 5,4 million registered voters whose details will appear in the provisional voters roll which ZEC will unveil for public scrutiny from 19 May to 29 May 2018. The 5.4 million voters showed that they are concerned citizens who value our country very much and are willing to participate in electoral and governance processes throughout Zimbabwe.
According to the Zimbabwe 2012 census report, the country’s population is just above 13 million individuals. Extrapolating the 2012 census results with an average annual population growth rate of 2.5 percent and interpolating it with Zimbabwe’s population pyramid whose heavy base shows a predominantly youthful population- one can safely conclude that more than 50% of Zimbabwe’s population is below the age of 18 years.
Basing on the above conclusion- one could expect that around 6.5 million Zimbabweans are above the age of 18 years and therefore eligible to be registered voters for the 2018 elections.
During the 2013 elections a total of nearly 3,5 million individuals managed to cast their votes. An increase of nearly 1 million individuals is commendable and they need to encouraged to exercise their right on the voting day.
This shows that more than 80% of eligible voters managed to register to vote for the 2018 elections. More than 80% is good figure for a country like Zimbabwe where voter apathy levels in previous elections were high. This development is welcome news and shows Zimbabweans are quickly finding their voice in governance and decision-making processes by registering as voters in their numbers.
Elections are a process not a one-day event with voters going through the first stage of registering as voters then inspection of the voters roll before the actual voting or casting of the ballot. Elections are also a game of numbers and voter turnout underlines the success or failure of elections which will also impact on the legitimacy of the leaders who emerge victorious.
Zimbabwe has a history of elections whose outcomes were contested or inconclusive- triggering bouts of political violence and instability that has weighed down the nation for the past 20 years. The coming 2018 elections present us as citizens of Zimbabwe with a new electoral slate to vote in new leaders and set the nation on a trajectory of growth, stability and prosperity. A free-fair and inclusive election will confer legitimacy on the winners who will then lead Zimbabwe as it returns as a respectable member to the international community of nations