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Debate on the proposed electoral reforms continues
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
September 15, 2011

ZESN held 4 workshops in the Midlands province from the 6th to the 9th of September 2011 in four constituencies namely Silobela, Vungu, Kwekwe and Redcliff.

The workshops sought to achieve the following;

  • To educate people on the contents of the gazetted Electoral Amendment Bill
  • To enable communities to debate on the proposed electoral reforms
  • To cultivate a culture of political tolerance and respect of divergent political views.
  • To introduce participants to the concept of citizen participation and its importance.

Attendance for the workshops:

Constituency Participants Males Females
Silobela 36 23 13
Vungu 40 24 16
Kwekwe 93 33 60
Redcliff 50 22 28

Issues raised during the workshops:

  • Participants felt that the proposed Electoral Bill does not address the issue of violence adequately and does not have convincing structures and measures to deal with perpetrators of political violence.
  • Some participants in Silobela and Vungu castigated local traditional leaders for their partisan involvement in the country's political activities.
  • There was general consensus that youth participation in civic matters was limited and participants encouraged ZESN to conduct mobilization drives to encourage youth participation.
  • On the state of the voters' roll, Silobela participants suggested that traditional leaders should take the lead in the registration of deaths so that deceased people can be removed from the roll.
  • Participants in all four workshops agreed that although the Polling station based voting system is good, Zimbabwe is not ready to implement the system given the violent and intimidatory nature of elections in the country.
  • Regarding the Presidential Powers Temporary Measures Act, Kwekwe participants highlighted that it gave unfair advantage to the incumbent and should be removed to level the electoral playing field.

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