Voter registration still slow in Mozambique

Less than 15 per cent of Mozambique's 3.5 million eligible voters had registered following the third week of the current voter registration exercise, according to the country’s Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE).

The electoral body made the announcement in mid-June, some three weeks after registration began on 25 May, ahead of the nation's upcoming local elections on 20 November.

The registration process has been hampered by malfunctioning computer equipment, in particular incompatible printers supplied by a consortium comprising the Mozambican company Artes Grafica and South African firm Lithotech.

The consortium received over $18 million for the equipment from STAE which was forced to import replacement printers from South Africa.

There are still technical and administrative hitches being reported around the country, ranging from computers overheating to confusion on behalf of some electoral officers over the registration procedure itself.

In an effort to resolve remaining difficulties as well as speed up the process, the electoral body has established a special centralised team to monitor and assess the registration's progress.

The electorate has been reminded that cards issued for previous elections are no longer valid, and voters must register all over again.