Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) today, Saturday the 3rd of February 2018, launched the Issue-Based Voter Education and (Agitation) Mobilization Campaign (IBVA) campaign targeting the vending communities in Harare Central Business District and parts of Chitungwiza. The IBVA campaign seeks to address the low participation of street vendors in civilian political processes, specifically becoming a registered voter and voting in local and national elections. A second layer of the issues the IBVA campaign seeks to address pertains to the design of interventions targeted at street vendors by stakeholders in the past. The Zimbabwe Elections Commission, Civil Society and political parties tend to overlook the peculiarities characterizing the vending profession.
The design of their interventions is neither grounded in a strong political economy analysis of the street vending profession nor informed by the cultures and routines associated with the profession. The IBVA intervention will respond to the political and economic context, while being anchored by the relevant culture, behaviors and routines associated with street vendors and the beneficiaries of their toil. The interventions will also seek to address the information or otherwise demands of key populations including women and youths, the disabled and the so called “aliens” who have an opportunity to vote for the first time if enough information is availed to them on time.
Today’s launch, whose training aspect was led by a renowned elections expert Mr Jack Zaba, was attended by over 100 vendors operating within Harare’s Central Business District, Chitungwiza and Harare South. Another Training workshop with the same model is scheduled for next week and this should lead to the creation of a 200 strong Network of Voters Voter Educators (VVEs) to be deployed in and around Harare. Today’s training intervention covered the following items;
- Voter Registration Principles
- Voter Mobilisation strategies
- Security tips and code of conduct for voter mobilisers
- The electoral cycle
- Electoral offenses
- Citizen reporting and monitoring
By mobilising vendors to vote IBVA, seeks to catalyse vendors as change agents through enhancing their ability to hold relevant authorities accountable, thus telling truth to power. In doing the preceding, IBVA not only assists vendors to secure their rights to livelihoods but also helps in attaining the goal of promoting informed, active citizenship for more accountable governance in Zimbabwe.
Source: Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET)