THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Electoral procedures
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
Extracted from Weekly Media Update 2005-04
Monday January 24th – Sunday January 30th 2005

INFORMATION on the country’s electoral process remained preciously scarce during the week as authorities failed to use the media to adequately inform the public about pertinent issues relating to electoral procedure. This dearth of information was worsened by the media’s failure to ferret out this information from relevant authorities for the benefit of their audiences.

For example, although the private media noted that there was a lack of publicity about the need for Zimbabweans to inspect the voters’ roll, they, like the government media, did not challenge the authorities why its publication of the list of inspection centres was not accompanied by a publicity blitz, especially on ZBH, the national public broadcaster whose stations reach a wider national audience.

Neither did they query government on the short period voters were given to check their names on the rolls.

Ironically, the Tsunami Disaster Fund and ZANU PF advertisements disguised as part of the commemorations for the country’s 25th Independence anniversary, which punctuated almost every ZTV programme, got more space than any publicity on the inspection of the voters’ roll.

In fact, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) only mentioned the inspection exercise in 10 of its news stories it carried during the week. Even then the issue was mostly reported as part of reports on ZANU PF activities, in which party officials called on their supporters to check their names.

The two reports that the government Press carried on the matter were not informative either. One merely quoted a Chipinge District Administrator calling on the electorate to inspect the voters’ roll. The other claimed that many people in Bulawayo had inspected the roll, a claim contested by SW Radio Africa (28/1), which reported to the contrary.

The private Press inexplicably ignored the matter.

Apart from failing to take the authorities to task over the lack of publicity on the inspection of the roll, none of the media followed up the MDC’s previous claims that the register was in a shambles by carrying out their own independent investigation on the matter.

Neither would the media relate civic society’s reticence on the electoral process to the repressive legislation that seeks to curtail NGOs’ participation in the electoral process.

Only the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) was seemingly involved in the process. The organisation placed advertisements in the private and government Press urging the public to check their names.

It is vital that the media should fully inform their audiences on important matters such as the electoral process so as to empower the public to make informed choices in choosing their leaders.

Visit the MMPZ fact sheet

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.