Election watchdogs step-up voter education

HARARE – As the  country enters the homestretch of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) blitz,  Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) have upped their voter education campaigns.

As of December 5, at least 3 599 459 had registered to vote, according to national elections management body Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

The elections body is targeting to register 7 million voters.

Election Resource Centre director Tawanda Chimhini said they were putting all hands on deck to ensure all eligible citizens are mobilised to register to vote.

“So it has become necessary for us to upscale voter mobilisation because time is running out. We may need to incentivise registration, provision of information and we have intensified our presence on social media, TV and radio stations,” Chimhini said.

CSOs led by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) have also been deploying hundreds of personnel to in a bid to mobilise prospective voters  to register.

ZimRights executive director Okay Machisa said they have intensified their programmes of mobilising people to register to vote.

“We also realised that the interest in Harare to register to vote has really been high.

“The number has gone up by 80 percent that has been largely because of the politics around the country motivated either positively or also the initiatives we are doing are affecting the increase.

“We are doing door-to-door campaigns and proving free transport to ferry people to register,” he said

Apart from the roadshows in the provinces, Machisa said they had intensified their voter education campaigns in the urban and rural areas by launching TV and radio programmes.

Zec introduced the BVR for next year’s elections in a bid to ensure that the country holds free, credible and fair elections.

The BVR process will last for 72 days and will be held in four phases.

The fourth phase commenced on December 4 and ends on December 19.