CSOs Takes Voter Registration to New Levels

Civil Society Organisations, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) on Monday asserted to leave no stone un-turned as they upped the game to encourage citizens to register to vote ahead of the 2018 general elections.

The two organisations said they are complementing the efforts of the election body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), to mobilise citizens to register to vote.

Moses Chibaya from ERC distributing fliers along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare

ZEC launched BVR system on the 14th of September and opened 63 static district registration centres across the country.  On the 10th of October the election management body started national voter registration blitz phase one which will end on the 26th of September. However, the process seem to have started on a low start, despite the Commission’s target to register seven million people.

 Speaking on Monday morning at corner Samora Machel and Rotten row streets, where the ERC and ZimRights teams targeted motorists distributing fliers, the ZimRights Executive Director Okay Machisa said the organisations decided to do a pilot test of the bigger campaign on the streets of the major towns in Zimbabwe.

“We decided to invade the streets because that’s where the people are. We will leave no stone un-turned as we try to encourage everyone to register to vote. We are going to deploy people at all trunk roots and other major roads distributing information on BVR,” Machisa said.

The ERC’s Executive Director, Tawanda Chimhini said “all hands are on the deck” so that the registration process is comprehensive, a key principle of international standards on voter registration.

“We want to make sure that citizens participate in electoral processes. At the moment information on BVR is still lacking hence we want to spread the information and compliment the efforts of ZEC,” Chimhini said.

He added: “The voter education and voter registration processes must conform to the international standards of voter registration such as inclusivity, accessibility, credibility, security and comprehensiveness.”

Close to 1600 fliers were distributed to motorists on Monday morning.

Apart from the distribution of fliers on the streets the organisations have started roadshows, radio programmes, television programmes, articles in the media to spread credible information to communities.