NGO sets up campaign platform for electoral candidates

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BY BRENNA MATENDERE

KWEKWE-BASED civic society organisation, the Zimbabwe Organisation for Youths in Politics (ZOYP), has launched a platform for candidates in the March 26 by-elections to publicly debate their party manifestos ahead of the plebiscite.

During the public debate, candidates will be expected to present their election manifestos and answer questions from both their rivals and ordinary citizens.

ZOYP director Emmanuel Nkosilathi Moyo yesterday told Southern Eye that his organisation held training sessions for aspiring candidates in Gokwe district with the aim of entrenching democracy in the Midlands province.

“We want to promote a culture of issue-based elections where the electorate votes for someone because of issues, not just that voters should sheepishly follow a candidate because they belong to a particular party,” he said.

Moyo reiterated that in the past, people had voted for candidates because they belonged to their preferred parties.

“In the past elections, a person would just enter into the polling booth and look say for a Zanu PF, or MDC Alliance symbol and then place their X there.

“Most of the time, we find that they do not even know their municipal candidates.

“This is what we want to end, hence the formation of the dialogue forum called Aspirant Forum. We will be impartial in our approach,” Moyo said.

During the 2008 and 2013 elections, ZOYP campaigned against politically-motivated violence in Kwekwe, which had become a hotbed of violence.

The organisation has also held training sessions in rural areas to encourage youths to participate in electoral processes.