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Citizens speak out on the Electoral Amendment Bill in Mashonaland East and West
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
October 28, 2011

This activity update gives the highlights of the community workshops that were conducted by ZESN in Mashonaland East and West Provinces. The workshops again sought to highlight the importance of citizen participation in elections, to debate on the Electoral Amendment Bill (2011) and issues of political tolerance and co-existence.

Date Type of Meeting Venue Area Province
17 October Community Workshop Rukawo Motel Chegutu Mashonaland West
24 October Community Leaders Workshop Malwatte Marondera East Mashonaland East
25 October Community Workshop Maware Hall Chikomba East Mashonaland East
26 October Community Workshop Kunzwana Women's Association, Macheke Murehwa South Mashonaland East

ZESN conducted workshops in Mashonaland East and West provinces. The workshops focused on the Electoral Amendment Bill and the ongoing public hearings on the Bill.

A number of issues were raised during the workshops and these include:

  • Some participants bemoaned the polarized nature of Zimbabwe's politics which they said was slowing development in other issues.
  • Participants at Chikomba highlighted that the Amendments were not fully explained to the people and that submissions were being narrowed down to party positions as happened during the COPAC outreach process.
  • Law enforcement is lacking hence people do as they wish knowing that there is no one who will arrest them for causing violence.
  • There were some questions as to the capacity of ZEC to carry out the election as it had not yet been furnished with sufficient resources.
  • In Chegutu and Marondera participants argued that the 5-day timeframe for the announcement of results was too long and there were suggestions of a 48-hour and a 72-hour timeframe within which ZEC should announce the results.
  • Participants also called for the cleaning of the Voters' Roll by the RG' office before the next election is held.
  • Macheke and Chegutu participants urged the Government to ensure that those people referred to as aliens be allowed to vote given that most of them were born here and have established themselves as citizens of Zimbabwe.
  • In Macheke they acknowledged that when the hearings for Citizenship Act where conducted a number of black Zimbabweans who were of foreign descent incorrectly thought that it would not affect them, much to their later surprise and chagrin when they lost citizenship and the right to vote.
  • Some participants at Chikomba East Maware Business Centre called for there to be adequate reforms before the next election is held.

The participants thanked ZESN for bringing the debate to their doorstep and urged for more of these enlightening workshops on issues of national importance such as the Electoral Amendment Bill.

Visit the ZESN fact sheet

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