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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
June 26, 2013
More than 50
Plumtree local leaders comprising traditional leaders (Headman and
2 village heads) local councilor, JOMIC representative, representatives
of political parties (Zanu-PF, MDC, ZAPU,) and heads of Community
Based Organizations participated in a Multi-stakeholders Meeting
on Peace held in Plumtree on Saturday (22/06/13). The meeting, organized
by Plumtree Agenda, a Chapter of Bulawayo Agenda, brought together
these various stakeholders to engage and dialogue on ways of promoting
peace and tolerance in the area and contributing to the credibility
of the forthcoming watershed elections.
Below are some
of the highlights of the meeting:
processes: After receiving feedback from Bulawayo Agenda Executive
Director on the SADC resolution on election dates, voter registration
exercise and other developments around preparations for elections,
stakeholders emphasized the need for key reforms before elections
for them to be credible, free and fair.
were urged to be monitors and reporters of any discrepancies in
their communities objectively and truthfully for the creation
of a conducive environment that will lead to protection of the
citizens and their votes.
- Mobile Voter
Registration: There were complaints that some residents could
not register as they did not have proof of residence and also
lacked information on the ongoing voter registration process.
raised concerns on the voter education process which they said
should have been carried out before the registration process so
as to raise citizens’ awareness on their rights as well
as electoral and political developments.
- JOMIC: Participants
dismissed the Code of conduct for political parties presented
by Jomic on the basis that it excludes other political parties
and does not clearly spell out punitive measures to for offenders.
- They called
for the inclusion of all political parties so that they are guided
and bound by it for the protection and security of the vote and
- Peace and
tolerance: The attendant political parties, Zanu-PF, MDC and ZAPU,
pledged to uphold peace and protection of the vote and voters.
When pressed to fully outline mechanisms to stop and punish their
members who engage in violence, they failed to convince the stakeholders
and were thus encouraged to develop such.
- MDC and
ZAPU pledged to take disciplinary action on any party member found
guilty of perpetrating violence as per their codes of conduct.
However, Zanu-PF said it will be “up to the police”
to arrest their party members when they are involved in violence.
In the past police have been accused of failing to arrest Zanu-PF
supporters who would have perpetrated violence or releasing them
without any charges or without being brought before the courts.
parties were further challenged to practice what they preach and
make sure that messages of peace cascade down to their lowest
structures as it is people on the ground (the supporters) who
usually perpetrate violence.
leaders’ role versus elections: On behalf of traditional
leaders, Headman Hikwa challenged other traditional leaders to
be apolitical and serve the interests of people without any discrimination
as she has been doing.
- She pointed
out that traditional leaders have a key role to keep the community
cohesive through denouncing violence and remaining apolitical
as the people they serve have different political, social and
cultural interests and beliefs.
Hikwa also bemoaned lack of information access to the communities
in Plumtree especially on electoral processes and political developments
urging Bulawayo Agenda and like-minded civil society organisations
to increase information dissemination especially to rural areas.
was one of the platforms created by Bulawayo Agenda in a bid to
promote peace and tolerance within communities as the nation prepares
for the watershed elections. Peace concerts have also been held
in various areas where the usually marginalized social groups such
as women and youths had the opportunity to participate, share their
experiences and network on how to promote peace even at household
levels. MDC-T was invited but sent in an apology as they failed
Visit the Bulawayo
Agenda fact sheet
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