Opposition parties taking back seat in voter education: CSO’s

CIVIC society organisations (CSOs) have rapped opposition parties for failing to play an active role in encouraging people to register as potential voters in the ongoing biometric voter registration (BVR) blitz, which ends tomorrow.

BY TALENT GUMPO

Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Monday, CSO leaders said the absence of opposition players in the BVR campaign had somehow contributed to the low turnout at registration centres.

Women in Leadership Development chairperson, Samukeliso Khumalo, said citizens had lost confidence in the voting process owing to the non-participation of opposition parties in voter education.

“When we conduct voter education in various communities, people ask us, what is the point of registering when they do not know who they will vote for. That is a very demotivating factor, because the ruling party is the only visible candidate,” she said.

Zimbabwe Christian Alliance director, Reverend Useni Sibanda, said his organisation was working towards incorporating the prophetic churches that have a large following in a bid to get more people motivated to register.

“We are hoping to move registration points to such big churches both in Bulawayo and Harare, but one of the challenges that we might face is that some of these churches do not allow people to participate in voting, their doctrines are against that,” Sibanda said.

“We are trying to deal with that, in some of our new churches, there is no emphasis on the importance of congregants exercising their rights to vote.”

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission initially had targeted to register seven million people, but the figure was revised down to five million owing to low turnout.

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