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Activity update - Week ending 15 December 2012
Bulawayo Agenda

December 17, 2012

Election preparedness meeting

Community leaders, residents and youths attended a community Election Multi-stakeholders meeting organised by Bulawayo Agenda last Friday in Bulawayo. The meeting was civic education; that is to share information on registration and voting to empower communities to register as voters ahead of next year's watershed elections.

Youths expressed concerns on the registration process demands which they said were frustrating especially the need to produce proof of residence. Participants called on the government to consider the Diaspora vote for those in Diaspora to exercise their right to vote. Participants also raised concerns on the growing trend of forcing uniformed forces to vote under the watch of their superiors which takes away their right to choose whom they want to vote for.

Participants were urged to register to vote so as to elect leaders who will promote social change in their communities. Voting would also empower communities to hold accountable the people they would have voted into office. Critical information on registration, voting and key political developments was collected and shared to inform advocacy and CSO program focus.

Re-thinking Local Government in Zimbabwe consultative meeting

Bulawayo Agenda in partnership with the Combined Harare Residents Association held a public consultation meeting on the Urban Councils Act (UCA) Amendment Bill under the title: Rethinking Local Government in Zimbabwe last Thursday.

The meeting brought together residents of Bulawayo including Youths and women from different wards. Some of the major points of discussion were the Minister of local government's powers to appoint 'Special Councillors', the need to constitutionalise the UCA, the powers of the Minister given by the Local Government Laws Amendment Act and possible measures that can be put in place to promote accountability and transparency in the Local Government.

The deliberations from this meeting and other similar meetings held around the country shall feed into a paper aimed at informing the Parliamentary debate on Urban Councils Act (Private Members Bill) scheduled for February 2013.

International Human Rights Day Commemorations

More than 100 youths, civic society representatives and a representative of the local Councillor (ward 28) attended an International Human Rights Day commemoration organised Bulawayo Agenda in partnership with Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) at Mahlathini Primary School in Cowdray Park last Saturday.

ZimRights, Radio Dialogue, National Youths Development Trust (NYDT) and ZADHR gave solidarity messages challenging youths to register to vote. Youths were urged to participate in development processes starting at community level as this is their democratic right.

The event was in the form of a musical gala where various youth groups from Cowdray Park performed songs, dances and modelling with winners getting various prizes.

Statistics show that out of the more than 60% youth population in the country, only18% voted in the last election. The International Human Rights Day is held every year on the 10th of December and this years' theme was "Declaration of Human Right".

Visit the Bulawayo Agenda fact sheet

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