Adopt user-friendly facilities for PWDs

ZIMBABWE must adopt user-friendly facilities for polling stations so that people with disabilities can access and exercise their voting right freely,” Regional Elections Observer and PWDs Champion Alice Masawi has said.

Speaking during one of theTwitterthorn sessions hosted by Women’s Institute For Leadership Development (WILD) dubbed Reflections of Kenyan Electoral processes : Key Lessons for Zimbabwe, Masawi said great strides were made in the promotion of PWDs inclusion in Kenyan politics.

“As an Elections Observer, I was impressed with the Kenyan Elections. Of note were the user-friendly facilities for PWDs and how Kenyans vote for Women Representation, Governor and Senator unlike in Zimbabwe whereby people who occupy these offices are being appointed either by the President or on party list and not voted for office.

“I also think that Zimbabwe women should be given opportunities to campaign and take part in the electoral processes so that there will be more women representatives in Parliament,” said Masawi.

Elections Observer, Gender Consultant and Youth For Innovation Trust Managing Director Thando Gwinji applauded the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya citing the level of professionalism exhibited before and during the elections.

Said Gwinji : Observing the Kenyan Elections was a great experience. I was intrigued by the biometric system that made everything easy and how information on elections was readily available online. Of course the level efficiency differed per polling station but all was smooth.

“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (@IEBCKenya ) made sure that they engaged the civil society widely and there were ramps and agents who assisted not just the PWDS but the elderly as well.”

Speaking during another Twitterthorn session dubbed Assessing the Nexus between Delimitation and Community Development , Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Provincial Elections Officer for Bulawayo Sithembiso Khuphe said “ Delimitation affects economic decisions as the demarcation of constituencies and wards is done to elect Mps & councilors who will then spearhead community development projects at equal manageable populations.”

Mrs Khuphe also said “ According to the Electoral act (Chap:2.13) Sec. 37A the delimitation process has to be conducted publicly ,that is in consultation with stakeholders. The citizens participate and share opinions on boundaries according to their community of interest.”
According to Mrs Khuphe : The commission will allocate the number of constituencies to provinces according to the numbers of registered voters using the national average.”

Speaking during the same session The Girls Table Programs Assistant Bekezela Mguni said more needs to be done to enhance access to information on the ongoing electoral processes particularly delimitation.

“I think people are not well informed about the processes of delimitation. From the people that l have interacted with during voter education it’s pretty clear that people lack knowledge on delimitation processes.

“Citizens are accessing information on delimitation through workshops hosted by CSOs
Media: newspapers, community radios and on social media platforms that is twitter, Facebook.” said Bekezela.

Responding to strategies that can be put in place to ensure that no one is left behind in voter registration Bekezela noted that : “ Adults are not really a problem but youths are the ones with no interest on registering to vote and l think we need to educate them on why it’s important for them to register to vote and the benefits.”

The Twitterthorn was running under #HerVoteSpeaks which was shared by netizens from diverse backgrounds.

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