Communities working with Heal Zimbabwe Trust in Makoni have commended the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for embarking on Phase 2 of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) blitz. This came out during an evaluation meeting conducted by a local Community Peace Club (CPC) of the BVR blitz in Makoni on 28 April 2022.
Participants highlighted that the blitz has decongested the ZEC registration office in Rusape and this has seen an increase in the number of people registering to vote.”The blitz has made our voter mobilisation efforts easier. Unlike in the past where prospective registrants would give excuses of not having bus fares to Rusape, the blitz has ensured that community members travel shorter distances”, added on participant. Communities however noted that there was need for ZEC to increase the number of registration centres in wards to ensure that community members do not travel long distances. On the issue of access to documentation, community members reported that during the ongoing national mobile registration by the Civil Registry Department, citizens continue to face challenges in acquiring identity documents and birth certificates.”Officials from the Civil Registry Department continue to demand witnesses for one to access a birth certificate yet most children here in Makoni are orphans or their parents migrated to other countries in search of better fortunes. This requirement has made it difficult for most people to get these documents here”, added another participant.
As part of resolutions, the dialogue meeting resolved that there was need to continue mobilizing the local community to register to vote ahead of next years’ general elections. On access to documentation, the community will engage Heal Zimbabwe to seek legal recourse in instances where communities are facing challenges to access key documents.
The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to empower local communities to help safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. Such platforms also facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe