INEC solicits faith leaders’ support to woo voters

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has requested religious leaders support to encourage and motivate citizens to participate in the Permanent Voter Register’s (PVR) upgrading exercise, which is due to start next month.

The update of information will be undertaken for all eligible voters, who will cast their votes for civic election later this year and general election set for next year.

The exercise will especially target those who lost their voter cards, changed place of domicile, want to alter names and the new voters.

INEC Chairperson, Judge Jacobs Mwambegele engaged the faith leaders in Dar es Salaam on Monday in a meeting, which was aimed at informing them on the preparation of the electoral body towards upgrading the PVR from July 1 this year.

“Religious leaders have tremendous opportunities through their sermons and worshipping services in church, mosque and other praying places to motivate believers to participate in the PVR’s upgrading exercise. We request you to incorporate voter registration in your priority announcements,” he said.

Judge Mwambegele informed religious leaders that so far, the INEC has prepared all the necessary facilities including modern Biometric Voter Registration’s (BVR) kits for all eligible citizens to update their information in the PVR.

He noted that the 2024/2025 BVR kits have been reduced in size, to enable portability and ensure they reach remote areas, unlike the 2015 and 2020 kits, which were much bigger and hence slowed penetration to all areas.

More significantly, he said in this year’s voter register’s upgrading – INEC for the first time will apply the Online Voter Registration System (OVRS) that allows previously registered citizens to update their information, especially by using their smartphones or computers before contacting their respective registration centres for obtaining voter identification cards.

On top of that, he said the Voter Registration System (VRS) has been aligned with the current model of BVR kits, which use Android software, unlike the previous that used Microsoft Windows software easing the updating exercise by using smartphones and tablets, dissimilar to previous system which mainly used laptops only.

He said the inaugural ceremony of the PVR’s upgrading will be launched by Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa in Kigoma Region on July 1 this year.

INEC Director, Mr Ramadhan Kailima said more than five million new voters across the country are expected to be registered in the PVR equivalent to about 19 per cent of almost 30 million voters currently available in the register, who were recorded before the 2020 General Election.

Mr Kailima added that 4,369,531 voters are expected to update their information while others 594,494 are anticipated to be deleted because of lack of information including cases of death.

He said that this year’s voter register’s update exercise will entail a total of 40,126 registration centres, from which 39,709 are in mainland Tanzania and 417 centres in Zanzibar.

He expounded that the country sees an addition of 2,312 registration centres from 37,814 centres in the 2029/2020 year.

He said from July 2024 to March 2025 all centres will be used for the voter register’s update exercise in seven days.

Overall, he said after the PVR’s upgrading in March 2025, the number of voters is projected to reach nearly 35 million.

The INEC’s meeting was marked by remarkable turnout from faith leaders from various religions including Islam, Roman Catholic, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Related Articles

Back to top button