Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) held a series of voter education activities in Masvingo province through various initiatives such as sporting tournaments, radio programs, social media platforms and community meetings. The campaign seeks to encourage the youth to register to vote and also to raise awareness in the province about the registration blitz that is currently underway. The voter education programs mainly target youth and women in rural areas, mining compounds and plantations where access to information is a serious challenge.
Last week, COTRAD hosted a go register to vote sporting tournament at Chatikobo Business Centre, ward 16, Masvingo Central, while the ZEC officials were registering voters at the same event. About 45 people were attended by ZEC officials during the activity either registering as new voters or transferring their voting stations. The activity was also attended by the elected councilor for ward 16 Mr. Admore Dhemba and traditional leaders from the close by villages who assisted the potential voters with the proof of residents, a requirement during voter registration process.
Speaking during the voter registration campaign at Chatikobo, councilor Dhemba appreciated COTRAD, ZEC collaborative work in Masvingo rural. “I would like to thank what COTRAD is doing for us, bringing ZEC officials to educate people on voter registration processes and also registering people. Many people in this ward have not yet registered and we hope when the Registrar’s office comes, COTRAD will also assist us again to bring back ZEC officials so that we can register in numbers. “Another challenge that we are facing is on national identity cards (IDs), many people here do not have IDs but we hope when the Registrar officials visit us people will get IDs,” said Dhemba.
Some first time voters who managed to register during the Chatikobo activity explained that they previously faced some challenges in trying to register, however, the activity helped them to register since the present public officials assisted them to get proof of residents, and ZEC officials addressed various challenges that affected people in the past.
COTRAD also held similar campaigns in Mashava mining area and Chiredzi sugarcane estates, areas which COTRAD observed a very low voter registration turnout during the first phase of the ZEC mobile voter registration blitz that ran from the 1st of February and ended on the 28th. Therefore, the campaign aimed to further educate and encourage potential registrants to utilize the second phase of the mobile voter registration blitz which started on 11th of April ending on the 30th of the same month.
Click the links below and watch the videos of COTRAD voter education activities;
- ZEC Masvingo District Elections Officer addressing the Mashava residents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE7fNcAkMmg
- ZEC Masvingo District Elections Officer addressing participants in Masvingo central constituency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5sOVyy70xQ
- Masvingo ward 16 first time voters who registered to vote during COTRAD, ZEC Chatikobo activity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJKaHocWDu0