EkhayaVote2023 conducts voter education in Bulawayo

EkhayaVote2023 conducted a series of Community Engagements that were held in Mzilikazi, Pumula North and Nkulumane. The engagements held sought to ensure that communities are offered a platform where they can discuss their understanding on: “The Nexus Between Service Delivery and Electoral Processes.”

During these engagements the following issues emerged in the areas visited:

Mzilikazi

Lack of Identity cards is hindering youths from registering to vote as the registry office does not have the capacity to provide the needed service. Residents pleaded with EkhayaVote2023 to ensure that the registry office is consulted so that there is improvement in the process of issuance of IDs.

A resident said it has taken too long for the ward to have another Councilor. She said the quality-of-service delivery has drastically deteriorated due to the absence of a Ward Councilor since the ban on by-elections due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Another resident said candidates who are voted in power should ensure to serve all residents despite their political affiliations.

Pumula North

Ndodana Ndhlovu, a Field Officer from Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) emphasized the statistics that were released by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) stating that out of the 5.6 million registered voters countrywide, Bulawayo has the lowest number of registered voters with 254 630 followed by Matabeleland South with 259 689 registered voters and Mat North standing at 335 851.

Ndhlovu stated that Bulawayo is in danger of losing three Constituencies as a result of low voter registrations as numbers currently show a low turnout of citizens in registering to vote. However, with the first phase of ZEC’s voter registration blitz starting in February, there is still time for Bulawayo to save its Constituencies.

Nkulumane

The District Elections Officer at Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Sithembiso Khupe cited that the closure of the voters’ roll for the proclaimed National Assembly vacancies and Ward Elections does not mean that the voter registration for other subsequent elections is closed.

She highlighted that ZEC’s mobile voter registration exercise will be conducted in two phases and these being the first phase that will run between 1 and 28 February 2022, while the second phase will run between 11 and 30 April 2022.

Khupe cited that all electoral activities will be conducted in line with the ZEC COVID-19 Policy.

Eligible persons can still be registered as voters as this is an on-going process. She encouraged young people to take up space and contest in the upcoming elections.

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