By Sisho Magagula | 2018-06-13
THE Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) has allayed fears among all members of the public who registered for the up-coming parliamentary elections but did not receive voter cards.
It has assured that voter cards will be made available for all persons who registered in order for them to be able to vote.
There are a number of people who have still not received voter cards, despite having registered at the different registration centres strategically situated in various places across the country.
Some of the people who did not receive the cards upon registration have expressed fears that they might have difficulty when the voting stage comes.
What happens in some registration centres is that people register, only to be told that the equipment had failed to print out their voter cards but they would be called ‘very soon’ to collect their cards.
‘Very soon’ has not come for many.
In an interview, Malibongwe Dlamini, a student at the University of Swaziland (UNISWA), said he visited the registration centre at the commerce block of the Kwaluseni campus on May 21, and registered. “I did everything as required, including the taking of fingerprints. The woman who was assisting me during the registration took my picture but a few minutes later, she informed me that I could not get my voter card because there had been a glitch with the equipment. She said I should collect the voter card the following day,” he said.
Dlamini said he returned to the registration centre the following day and there was still no card.
“The woman who had assisted me to register then asked for my cell number and said she would call me in the next few days to collect the card. She never called. Exactly 10 days later, I called her since she had given me her number. She got emotional, and told me to stop calling her but await her call. She has not called me to this day,” he said.
The student said he was getting increasingly uncertain as to whether he would be allowed to vote without the card.
Another member of the public was on air on Letishisako news and current affairs programme on national radio yesterday morning, registering the same concern. In an interview with this publication, Chief Gija said there was no need to panic.
“We are aware of such teething problems and we wish to allay fears amongst the public. The cards will be made available and people will be able to vote. We are conducting the registration using technological equipment and such hiccups are bound to happen.
However, what is going to happen is when the registration period closes on Sunday, all the equipment in all the registration centres will be brought back to the EBC headquarters at Nkhanini and that would be when all mistakes that occurred during the registration period will get to be rectified,” he said.
The EBC boss said the cards would be printed out and those who did not receive them would be called to come and collect them.
The chief further advised people who registered but did not get the voter cards not to make attempts to re-register because the system has already registered them. The system is designed in such a way that an individual cannot be registered twice, even if he decides to go register at another registration centre.
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