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ZESN workshop in Gokwe Nembudziya
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
August 31, 2011

ZESN conducted a Community Workshop in Gokwe Nembudziya, Ward 11 at Chinyetunyetu Scholl on the 25th of August. The workshop was attended by 83 people including the Councilor for Ward 11. The workshop discussions were based on the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act (2011). Participants expressed keen interest during the deliberations as evident by the nature of contributions and interventions regarding the proposed amendments. Participants highlighted the importance of public consultations by the government and civic society citing that the laws had to come from the citizenry and urged ZESN to continue conducting such meetings.

ZESN Mashonaland Field Officer led the discussion and also presented a paper on the proposed Bill as well as expounding the ZESN position on the Bill as informed by the critical analysis of the Bill done by the organisation. Participants raised a number of questions and concerns with regards to the Bill.

Questions and interventions

  • Why should the Registrar find it difficult to delete deceased people when they are the ones who issue Death Certificates?
  • The Chiefs and village heads should play a pivotal role in voter registration drives for the youth
  • Participants raised concern over the setting of election dates by interested parties and urged that an independent body must take up the responsibility.
  • Questions were also raised regarding the criminality of announcing results posted outside every polling stations.

On peace building, it was noted that the culture of violence has affected the basic cultural and traditional set up of Zimbabwean societies and that there was need to deal with culture of violence before the next elections are held. Participants bemoaned the politicization of institutions and activities as it has adversely affected families and societal bonds. Traditional leaders were urged to champion the cause of people in the communities especially given their important and well-respected roles.

In concluding the workshop the councilor for Ward 11 expressed gratitude to ZESN for conducting the workshop and sharing vital electoral information with the community. He further noted that it was important for the people to start working together for the betterment of their area rather than waste energy and time perpetrating violence and hatred.

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