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Voters’ register update on course, ZEC assures

THE update of the voters’ register, which started last Saturday in Micheweni District, in Pemba, is proceeding smoothly, Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) authorities have said.

The ZEC chairperson, retired Judge Hamid Mahmoud, and its communication officer, Mr Jaala Makame Haji, said the exercise was part of preparations for the upcoming General Election.

The exercise will be conducted for five days in each area/district and will end in March.

“During the update exercise, the Electoral Commission will register eligible citizens aged 18 years and above, update information of old voters and delete ineligible voters due to death or denaturalisation,” Mr Haji said.

An eligible person who wishes to register as a voter will be required to have a valid Zanzibari Identity Card (ZanID) before updating one’s voters record or register as a new voter in specified centres.

“We are urging all eligible Zanzibaris with ZanID to register so that all adults vote in the next general elections,” Judge Mahmoud said amid complaints from some people that they didn’t have the compulsory ID.

Seasoned politician Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad of ACT- Wazalendo party has on various occasions complained that a considerable number of Zanzibaris, particularly members of his party, didn’t have the multipurpose ZanID.

The Zanzibar Civil Status Registration Agency (ZCSRA) announced in October last year that it would start issuing new IDs – the ‘electronic ‘National’ Zanzibari Identification Card (ZanID).

Its Executive Director, Dr Hussein Khamis Shaaban, said the ‘smart card’ would be distributed to all eligible Zanzibaris.

He said that the ZanID smart Card was one of the best in Africa and would have four features in the chip: electronic Identification (e-ID), electronic Driving licence (e-DL), electronic Health Card (e-health), and electronic wallet (e-wallet).

The Zanzibar Civil Status Registration Agency was established under Act No. 3 of 2018 to be responsible for births, identification cards, marriages, divorces and deaths. However the use of ZanID started in 2005 under a different law before it was reformed.

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