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education lags far behind
Mawere, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
December 02, 2007
- Although elections scheduled for early next year are only a few
months away, most Zimbabweans eligible to vote have not received
any worthwhile voter education, according to a survey by the Mass
Public Opinion Institute (MPOI).
survey on Zimbabwe
Electoral Processes and Reforms, conducted in all the provinces
and released recently, says 68% of the potential voters in Zimbabwe
have not received any voter/civic education.
Anyway Ndapwadza, the
principal researcher at the Institute, said in Gweru last week there
would be many spoilt papers in the ballot boxes if a vigorous voter
education exercise was not undertaken.
Civil society members
present at the occasion when Ndapwadza presented the results of
the survey said the government needed to allow civic organisations
to immediately launch voter education programmes as the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) had not done much.
The ZEC, composed mostly
of civil servants, has the official mandate to provide voter education.
were a lot of spoilt papers during the 2005 parliamentary elections,
where voters were voting only for MPs, imagine what would happen
when there will be so many names for different positions,"
said Peter Muchengeti, National
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations' regional chairperson.
"If people do not receive voter education now they will be
very confused on the voting day."
education by party affiliation, the survey revealed that supporters
of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
were the worst affected, with 75% of the sampled supporters saying
they had not received any voter education.
Sixty-four percent of
the Arthur Mutambara faction said they had not received any voter
For Zanu PF, 60% of the
members were in dire need of voter education.
Another finding of the
survey was that 32% of potential voters had still not registered
at the time of the inquiry.
Lyson Mlambo of the Mutambara
MDC faction acknowledged that political parties, especially the
MDC, still had to educate their supporters on how to vote.
have shown that despite the fact that we have a strong base,"
said Mlambo, "we lose elections partly because most of our
supporters, especially the youths, are not registered voters. As
political parties we should urge all our supporters to register
for the 2008 elections."
The survey revealed that
only 60% of the potential voters considered the 2008 elections to
be "very important".
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