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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Community Witnesses receive training
    Bulawayo Agenda

    June 11, 2013

    Bulawayo Agenda held a capacity development workshop for 19 Community Witnesses (CWs) in Maphisa, Matobo district last Saturday. CWs drawn from various villages were trained as resident observers and reporters on election related issues.

    Participants were given skills in monitoring, writing and reporting. CWs feed into Bulawayo Agenda’s existing community based monitoring and advocacy based evidence-making tools which are Below The Surface Campaign, The Election Agenda and Community Newsletters. Bulawayo Agenda is currently monitoring the 30-day Mobile Voter Registration implemented as per the new constitutional provisions.

    Bulawayo Agenda took the opportunity to give feedback to the participants on the current developments on the electoral processes in Zimbabwe.

    Below are some of the major highlights of the training:

    • Participants raised concerns on the upcoming Mobile Voter Registration which they said was poorly publicized and also inaccessible.
    • There were also concerns on the partisan conduct of traditional leaders who serve Zanu-PF interests at the expense of the people hence fueling community divisions.
    • It was reported that neighborhood watch officers were informed that they will be incorporated into the police force and therefore vote 16 days before the next elections raising fears that there may be forced through threats and intimidation to vote for Zanu-PF.
    • Participants revealed that Matobo has been characterised by extensive vote buying through rice and wheat distributed by Zanu-PF structures to those perceived to be loyal to Zanu-PF.
    • In Silawa, there were violent clashes among the communities over the unfair distribution of these commodities which are provided by the Grain Marketing Board.
    • Participants reported that Chief Ndiweni dissociated himself from the “vote buying” process and instructed his traditional leaders to desist from being involved in such activities as it was dividing the community.
    • War collaborators were called for a meeting in Harare raising suspicions and fears that they may be incorporated into Zanu-PF’s political machinery to intimidate the community during the elections period.

    Visit the Bulawayo Agenda fact sheet

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