Zimbabwe: Biometric Voter Registration Observation Report

Published: 1/May/2018
Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network


5.3 Zimbabweans of Foreign Descent: The So-called “aliens”

“Aliens” as an exclusionary and almost derogatory category of Zimbabweans is applied by the Registrar General’s office to Zimbabwean citizens who were born of migrant parents. This is despite the fact that the Zimbabwean Constitution outlawed this categorization when it restored citizenship to all persons whose parents were migrants from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. The process of regularizing documents to reflect this change has also been costly, onerous, and at times exclusionary. The State has a positive duty to ensure that citizens who were previously excluded on the grounds that they were aliens are given proper documentation without charge so that they can enjoy their full rights of citizenship, including the right to register as voters.

At the beginning of the BVR process, Zimbabweans of foreign descent, so called “Aliens”, were being turned away. The constitutional position, articulated above, was buttressed by a decision of the High Court of Zimbabwe when Sarah Kachingwe and the MDC-political party formations successfully sought an order to compel ZEC to register “aliens” as prospective voters for the 2018 general elections during the BVR Blitz exercise. High Court Judge, Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa, issued an order granting so called “aliens” the right to register to vote on condition that they satisfied residency requirements and produce their “Alien” endorsed Identity documents together with a birth certificate, on 30 November 2017.

Despite the November 30 ruling, some so-called “aliens” faced difficulties in securing identity documents that confirmed their status as full citizens leading to the BVR processes inclusive nature being limited.

Download full report: ZESN-BVR-Observation-Report_June2018

Themes: ID Documents and Passports, Voter Registration
Regions: Zimbabwe
Year: 2018