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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Bulawayo Agenda activity update
    Bulawayo Agenda

    June 11, 2013

    Matobo Agenda holds a Community Public Meeting in Maphisa

    More than 150 citizens from Maphisa and surrounding areas attended a Community Public Meeting organised by Matobo Agenda, a chapter of Bulawayo Agenda last Saturday at Maphisa growth point. The meeting saw representatives of MDC’s Nhlanhla Dube and ZAPU’s Mncedisi Tshabangu sharing their party positions and readiness for elections regarding the Constitutional Court ruling that elections should be held by the 31st of July. Despite confirming attendance, Zanu-PF and MDC-T failed to send representatives at the last minute.

    Below are major highlights of the meeting:

    • On Constitutional court decision, both representatives said their parties respected the court’s decision but argued that the practicality of holding elections without the key reforms was questionable as there were challenges of funding which the country may not be able to address within the given time-frame.
    • Participants said the Constitutional Court’s decision failed to accommodate the Mobile Voter Registration process, inspection of the voters’ role and the nominations process which need at least 30 days before proclamation of election date, as stipulated by the constitution.
    • Participants said the Constitutional court’s decision was more of an expression of some “political wish” as it overlooked the conditions on the ground that may affect the credibility of the elections
    • Participants urged political parties to focus on addressing the key reforms before the dissolution of parliament instead of complaining through the media whilst time is running out.
    • On the political environment - Vote buying is rampant in the area as Zanu-PF has been dishing out rice and wheat on partisan grounds.
    • Participants raised concerns of vote-buying as war vets are being promised a pay rise if they vote for Zanu-PF in the next election.
    • Youths were challenged to avoid being used during elections to perpetrate violence as this hindered community development and also fueled community conflict resulting in a disintegrated community.
    • On Mobile Voter Registration (MVR)-participants called for the use of the March 2008 polling stations as the MVR points for these to be fairly accessible to the communities.
    • Citizens raised concerns of dearth of voter awareness thus the necessity to increase voter education through accrediting civil society organizations so as to compliment the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission voter educators
    • On SADC intervention - Political parties reiterated that SADC can only give advice and not make decisions on the election issues as it was a facilitator which should respect Zimbabwe’s territorial integrity thus raising doubts if the regional body can force parties to fully implement reforms ahead of elections.

    Participants were urged to inspect the voters’ roll so as to avoid being denied voting during the polling day(s). Participants called for more similar platforms as these enhanced their knowledge levels on election issues and update on the socio-political developments in the country.

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