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Low Voter Turnout Worrisome: ZESN


Elections lobby group, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has expressed displeasure at the low voter turnout in the just ended council by-elections in Kuwadzana and Mwenezi.

In a preliminary statement on the two by-elections, ZESN says it was perturbed by the continued countrywide low turnout in municipal by-elections.

“The Network commends voters in Mwenezi and Kuwadzana for casting their votes in peace but is nevertheless perturbed by the voter apathy during municipal by-elections which continues to persist in the Country,” reads the statement.

The Network says there was a decrease of votes cast compared to 2018 election in Kuwadzana while in Mwenezi, 50% of registered voters turned up to vote.

“There was a decrease of over 7000 votes between the total votes cast in the harmonised elections and in the by-election in Kuwadzana. Votes for ZANU-PF decreased by 1324 while for the MDC Alliance there was a decrease of 5353 votes between the 2018 harmonised elections and the by-election”

“In Mwenezi, the MDC Alliance lost to ZANU-PF by a margin of 1784 votes. The seat was uncontested in the 2018 harmonised elections. Turnout was comparatively higher in Mwenezi where 50% of the registered voters turned up to vote,” noted the report

ZESN recommended that political parties should encourage supporters and also contest elections.

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“Political parties should encourage their supporters to participate in municipal by elections so as to address voter apathy. Civic and voter education efforts by ZEC and civil society organisations should emphasise the importance of by-elections. All political parties that contest in elections should comprehensively deploy party agents to monitor polling processes at all polling stations,” further noted ZESN.






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