Local civic groups Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) have intensified their voter mobilization drive and have engaged 100 volunteers tasked with distributing fliers with voter registration information in and around Harare.
The volunteers, on the road since Monday have already visited Epworth and Chitungwiza with plans afoot to take the programme to western suburbs.
In an interview with 263Chat, ERC Executive Director, Tawanda Chimhini said they are worried by the turn out at voter registration centres, hence the decision to engage volunteers as a way of complimenting efforts by the electoral management body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to mobilize people to register and vote.
“The Election Resource Centre together with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has started deploying volunteers to distribute IEC materials. On Wednesday, we deployed 100 volunteers,” said Chimhini.
He added that the volunteers will go into the streets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to mobilize people to register and vote.
“The deployment of volunteers is one of the strategies that the organisations have employed to spread credible information on BVR.
“Other channels that are being used include roadshows, 24 hour call centre, television programmes, media articles, radio, and social media among other platforms,” added Chimhini.
He added that their move to go out into the streets to educate people on the biometric voter registration (BVR) is out of the realisation that there are a lot of information gaps which could affect voter turnout if not urgently addressed.
“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.”
ZEC intends to register seven million people ahead of the 2018 general elections. To date only 40 000 prospective voters have registered to vote at the 63 districts dotted around the country.
Zimbabweans especially women and youths have maintained a poor record of registering as voters. It is even more worrying that the youths constitute the biggest number of the eligible voters during the 2018 elections.