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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Election 2013 Special – Issue 1
    Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) & Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ)
    July 16, 2013

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    Editor’s note

    The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) and the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) are engaging in activities under the Right to Information campaign with residents and resident’s associations around the country. The organisations are cognisant of the importance of access to information to residents and in the election period, of the need to access information to ensure that citizens exercise their political rights. This newsletter is part of this broad campaign to ensure that ordinary citizens are able to access the information related to the upcoming 2013 general elections. In a survey carried out by MAZ and CHRA, fundamental information gaps were identified with regards to the oncoming elections. The gaps were related to following five broad areas;

    • How to register and vote: For effective participation
    • What parties, candidates and their proposals: So that they exercise their choices effectively
    • How elections work (electoral system): So that elections represent their will
    • Levels of government they are voting for
    • Zimbabwe Electoral Commission: For accountability and ensure credible election

    A summary of the results of this survey will be published on page eight of this newsletter. In response to some of the issues that came out in this survey, MAZ and CHRA will be publishing an “Election Special” on various election related information issues. The first issue will focus on the presidential candidates, who they are, their political history, the vision and ideologies, their policies and contribution to nation building. It is fundamental that ordinary citizens have access to information on candidates, their political parties and the policies that make up their manifestos so that they are able to make informed choices on voting day.

    The vote of ordinary people can have meaning and be effective if they have a wider choice of information. The Centre for Law and Democracy notes that, “if voters do not know about the parties and candidates and their proposals and platforms, they will not be able to exercise their electoral choices effectively and the results will not represent their free will.” In that same vein it is important to note that citizens have a right to access information and that public bodies are obligated to provide information despite the apparent gaps that we have observed, more so in a highly contested election like the 2013 general election which has aroused both local and international interest.

    In pursuit of this ideal and following the confirmation of candidates by the nomination court, MAZ and CHRA will publish the first issue focusing on President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Hon Minister Welshman Ncube, Mr Dumiso Dabengwa and Mr Kisnot Mukwazhi. We hope that you will enjoy the edition and we welcome ideas on what information you need as we approach the elections.

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