Ethiopia learns from Mozambique electoral law reform
Registration post in Mecanhelas, Niassa. Photo courtesy: Pinnacle News
At least 20% of registration posts were not open this morning. But our correspondents in all districts report that some problems are being resolved. The main difficulties continue to be lack of electricity for the registration computers, equipment failures, and insufficient training or experience of some registration teams.
Long queues have been reported again in some parts of the centre and north, including 120 people at EPC Napito, Namuno, Cabo Delgado. But few people are registering in the south and in parts of Cabo Delgado and Niassa. Queue size is hugely variable – in Zambezia in Lugela at Muabanama there were 130 people waiting this morning and at Mobede there were 60, but in Pebane at Patrice Lumumba there were only a handful and at the Maganja da Costa secondary school there were only 4 people in the queue.
In some places registration brigades have only arrived and started work for the first time this morning, including Unidade 11 and EPC 24 de Julho in Xai Xax and EPC Mwember and EPC Nicaca, Chissaua, Mecanhelas, Niassa.
In some places brigades or equipment still have not arrived, such as Nan’ganda, Mueda, Cabo Delgado. In Meluli, Namplua the tractor carrying the brigade and its equipment left the district capital yesterday but became stuck in the mud and had not arrived this morning.
In flood areas of Sofala, brigades are only now moving in Muanza. In Nhamatanda nine posts were not able to open yesterday, but five of them had opened this morning.
Some problems solved, but many remain
Registration brigade members are often resolving their own problems as they come to understand how the registration kits work. Thus some started normally this morning even though they were not working yesterday, for example Ndlavel in Matola; Escola Secundaria Januario Pedro, Mocimboa da Praia; Chipambuleque, Machaze, Mainica; and Chipambuleque, Machaze, Manica.
In some places STAE technicians had arrived and resolved problems, including Mudissa, Matutuine, Maputo province and EP1 Ntamila, Chiconono, Muembe, Niassa.
But printers and electricity remain large unresolved problems.
At Inhassoro primary school, Inhambane, yesterday people were being registered but not given voters cards, but they were being issued this morning and people who registered yesterday were collecting their cards. At EP1 Samora Machel, Erati, Nampula, people are being registered without cards being printed. At EPC de Bobe, Magude, Maputo province, and Epc Ndango, Chemba, Sofala the printer still did not work this morning. In Malanga, Majune, Niassa, the printer has no toner. At EP1/2, Quinta Das Laranjeira, Vanduze, Manica, the printer broke this morning.
When the printer did not work this morning, the brigade in Matambalale, Miteda, Muidumbe, Cabo Delgado simply packed up its kit and left – to the annoyance of people waiting in queues, many of whom went home to their fields.
Electricity is the other key issue. Solar panels have been delivered in several places, including EP1/2 de Mahoche, Inhassoro and EP1/2 de Ruralato, Govuro, both Inhambane. But in other places uncharged batteries continue to block registration, including EPC Filipe Samuel Magaia, Mandimba, Niassa; Ulondo, Zumbo Tete; EPC Josina Machel, Marrundo, Morrumbala, Zambezia; and Epc Zimual, Machanga, Sofala. This is also proving to be a problem in cyclone affected areas including Beira, where electricity has not yet been restored to some schools.
Elsewhere other problems remain. At the secondary school in T3 in Matola and EP1/2 de Ruralato, Govuro, Inhambane our correspondents report it was taking 30 minutes for the brigade to register each person and other correspondents reported very slow processing of would-be voters.
Cabo Delgado attacks discourage voters
In Lala, Macomia, Cabo Delgado people are not going to registration posts. “No one has registered because people who live in this area have dispersed because of the constant attacks by ‘Al-Shabaab’.”
Not everyone must register
There are no queues in municipalities which voted last year because not everyone must register this year. In a somewhat confusing decision, there was registration last year in the entire districts containing the 53 municipalities, and those cards are valid for this year’s national election.
But everyone must register anew for each electoral cycle, so cards from 2013/4 are not valid this year.
Thus anyone who will be over 18 years old on 15 October and wants to vote must register this year if they did not register last year.
By Joseph Hanlon