Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau has resigned, months before a vote whose credibility is crucial to the new army-backed government’s efforts to re-engage international lenders, a senior government source said on Friday.

An official who declined to be named, said Makarau, seen as an ally of former president Robert Mugabe, gave no reason for her resignation.

Emmerson Mnangagwa

General elections are scheduled to be held in Zimbabwe in 2018, and are likely to be held on or before September 2018.

The likelihood of the 2018 general elections taking place had been called into doubt by the Zimbabwean Coup.

On Nov. 22, a ZANU-PF spokesman said that Emmerson Mnangagwa would serve out the remainder of Robert Mugabe’s term before the elections due to be held on or before September 2018.

On Sept. 18, 2017, voter registration for Zimbabwe’s 2018 harmonised elections began.

This would be the first time since independence in 1980 that the voters’ roll would be administered outside the Registrar-General’s Office following the adoption of a new constitution which transferred the responsibility to the ZEC.

Makarau, said that continuous registration would begin while a registration blitz would be conducted in October.

“For the voter registration blitz, we needed 15 million U.S. dollars and Treasury has since supported us to that tune.

“The money is there and that is why we are saying we are ready.

“All we need is for the people to come and register now. We urge them to come forward and exercise their right to register and vote in the forthcoming elections,’’ she said.

ZEC has said it is targeting to register about seven million voters for the 2018 harmonised Presidential, legislative and local government elections.


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