The Call of Duty
- 18/6/2013 <--Prev : Next-->
Long johns? Check
Woolies vest? Check
Scarf and gloves? Check
Down jacket? Check
It was undoubtedly an undying love for my country that took me to the Voter Registration last Monday when the temperature never rose above 9 degrees Celsius the entire day.
Now my queuing obsession does not include the voting queue for some perverse reason, somehow I can rise above the obsessive queuing aversion where voting is concerned! Such fun can generally be had networking with like-minded people in a Zimbabwean voters queue!!
But this was just a line to check if I was still on the Voters Roll, and also to re-register HeeHoo who had been dis-enfranchised in the last election. Mine was the easy part, a born and bred fourth generation Zimbo, no one would dare try and take away my voting rights!!
HeeHoo however was taciturn about the whole affair. He had fought a long hard legal battle in 2008 when his name was summarily removed from the voters roll, as were hundreds of thousands of residents in the last election. He did not take it as far as the valiant Judith Todd, but came pretty close I must say.
However this election is different, the new constitution has given many of us back our inalienable rights to vote once again.
I did the exploratory work manfully as the arctic wind whipped around me menacingly, but surprisingly there was no queue, the registration centre was in a nice warm hall and I was but one amongst a dozen registration officials and umpteen police reservists.
My papers were in order, my name shone forth on voters roll like a bright and shining beacon!!(I felt a little like those people one used to see on the wrong side of the Berlin wall!)
But no, HeeHoo was not on the voters roll, and I was too scared to ask if Granny was still there (she died in 1993 but her name was there in 2008!!)
The pleasant registrar promised me that all I needed to reinstate HeeHoo was his ID and his proof of residence...but this was not to be it would appear, I took every document I could rustle up, cajoled poor HeeHoo with promises of Swiss Chocolate for lunch and off we set. This time we were less fortunate, the news had spread and I was thrilled to see that there were quite a lot more folk trying to register.
We have been pummeled, pushed, punished and penalized but thankfully we Zimbos always surface again and again!!
I visualized a long, long arduous fight, I wondered how I was possibly going to restrain HeeHoo from rushing back to the office, but miraculously within ten minutes we were given the green light and he was "allowed" to re-register once again to vote in the country where he has lived for the last fifty years !!
There is one thing that seems to flummox many Zim folk though, and that is the necessity to produce 'Proof of Residence'. So many young and old people just don't have a home!! Where can they get 'proof of residence'?
Thank you, thank you to the amazingly brave people who have fought so valiantly for so many years, with such self-sacrifice, to restore justice and pride in our country once again.