Maputo, 6 Jun (AIM) – About 1.4 million potential voters did not register during the voter registration held in Mozambique’s 65 municipalities from 20 April to 3 June.
Preliminary data on the registration released by the Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) indicate that, of the estimated 9.8 million potential voters, 84.91 per cent registered.
This means that 8.3 million people will be entitled to vote in the municipal elections scheduled for 11 October, but 1.4 million have been left out.
The province with the highest registration was Cabo Delgado. It had a target of registering 696,000 voters, and its final figure was 734,000 – 105 per cent of the target. The impact on the registration of the fight against islamist terrorism in the province is not clear. One Cabo Delgado municipality, Mocimboa da Praia, was temporarily occupied by the terrorists, who were driven out by Mozambican and Rwandan forces in 2021.
Much of the population of the Mocimboa da Praia municipality was displaced by the war, and the displaced people have not all returned. Some of the displaced, however, have been accommodated in other municipalities, such as Pemba, Montepuez and Chiure.
The southern province of Gaza also surpassed its target. It envisaged registering 517,000 voters, but registered 534,000 – 103.3 per cent of the target. In third place was Manica, which registered 689,000 voters, which is 94 per cent of its target of 732,000.
The province with the lowest percentages were Niassa, Tete and Inhambane which met 65 per cent, 72 per cent and 74.5 per cent of their respective targets.
While registering almost 85 per cent of the national target may look like a success, in fact many of the 1.4 million potential voters left out wanted to register but were prevented from doing so. On Saturday, the last day of registration, there were enormous queues at many registration posts particularly in the central and northern provinces. They were frustrated by widespread power cuts, and by mysterious breakdowns of the computers and printers used in the registration posts.
Investigations by the anti-corruption NGO, the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP), led to the conclusion that in many cases there was no mechanical failure. CIP argues that, in fact, supervisors and brigade members at the registration posts, simulated breakdowns, and slowed down proceedings, so as to prevent people from registering in what they believed to be areas of support for opposition parties.