The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) on Thursday conducted a consultative workshop to strategise on its electoral information dissemination and media relations ahead of polls expected to take place in March next year.
Report by Staff Reporter
ZESN’s outreach comes at a time when the organisation says it is working towards protecting its image from “pirate organisations” claiming to be aligned to it.
Addressing participants at the workshop held in Harare on Thursday, Zimrights board member, Edmond Mujeyi, who is a member of ZESN, said the network “must be wary of some unscrupulous organisations claiming to be members of ZESN yet they have no membership on the ground”.
“These organisations end up discrediting ZESN so they must not be entertained,” he said.
Participants at the workshop, who were drawn from Masvingo, Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South and Manicaland provinces, said ZESN must dispel perceptions that some people have about the organisation being aligned to the MDC-T “by budgeting adequately for its grassroots taskforce to properly disseminate information”.
“Many people see ZESN as an organisation that is politically aligned to a certain party with a regime change agenda due to the fact that it is most visible during election times,” said one participant.
“This influences the belief that it (ZESN) is there to campaign for a political organisation.”
The participants challenged ZESN to use the media to enlighten the people about its programmes and to work with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to get up-to-date information about the polls.