2018 Harmonized Elections: Prospects for democratic transition in Zimbabwe

/Executive Summary

The Zimbabwe Council of churches (ZCC) has engaged in two significant processes meant to gather perceptions as well as aspirations of the population towards the forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections. Between March and April 2018, the ZCC through its member churches in all provinces and structures that cut across to the local church level, engaged in community-level dialogue to discuss hopes, aspirations and expectations for the 2018 elections. In the same spirit, the ZCC also commissioned a survey with the aim of capturing how voter behaviour and incentives to participate are defined within Zimbabwe. A total of 1607 respondents from Bulawayo and Midlands provinces were interviewed by trained enumerators (80) using an interviewer administered questionnaire whilst over 300 women, men and youth participated in the community forums which generated the Ecumenical Election Covenants (EEC). This was done through inquiring perceptions of how people perceive the broader political environment and understanding of the electoral cycle to determine the efficacy of citizen participation. From the nation-wide community forums and dialogues, the ZCC structures at all levels developed EEC that fed into the National Ecumenical Election Covenant (NEEC) which has since been presented to local, provincial and national political leadership, the media fraternity, traditional leaders, civil society organizations as well as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). At the core of the of the Ecumenical Election Covenants is the appeal to political parties, politicians, institutions, traditional leadership, the media and the general members of the population that we need a new way of doing our politics and political activities. It sets up moral standards expected from leaders, candidates and institutions to serve national interests and common good in a bid to restore the honour and dignity of national processes such as electoral processes.

The survey was designed to buttress the Ecumenical dialogues through a rigorous quantitative research. The questions in the survey were designed to capture key considerations and phenomena that shape voter behaviour and motivation to participate among respondents in Bulawayo and Midlands province. Variables of interest to the survey (marker variables) were as follows residence (rural, urban and peri-urban), gender (male and female), employment, education and age (youth 18- 40, Middle age 41- 65, elderly 66+). The perceptions in the survey find expression in the NEEC.

Source: Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC)

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