Monday, August 8, 2022

WCoZ emphasize on voter education in marginalized communities

…ZEC implored to introduce braille ballot paper

Colleen Chitsa

MASVINGO- Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) in collaboration with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) recently held a constitution hub meeting educating the electorate and women in marginalized communities on electoral processes. 

ZEC district elections officer, Gertrude Murumbi who was the guest speaker at the meeting said they had intensified voter education that raises awareness for people who live in the rural areas on how to conduct the voting processes.

“Voters education is just a way of informing people on how to vote and the necessary requirements needed to carry out the voting processes, especially those in the rural areas as they do not have much access to such information,” said Murumbi.

Murumbi also revealed that they were partnering Henry Murray and had introduced sign language during their voter education awareness campaigns. 

 “Some teachers at Henry Murray are playing a pivotal role in helping us as ZEC to educate the deaf people using sign language interpretation and this also helps the electorate to understand the voting requirements and procedures,” said Murumbi.

Some participants at the meeting called upon ZEC to provide a braille ballot paper so as to reduce the number of assisted voters who usually cry foul of having their vote manipulated. 

“Braille must be used so that the blind people can also exercise their voting rights because some do not trust their aides. They allege those people might change their votes or unscrupulously make them vote for a contestant whom they don’t like,” said a participant.

WCoZ Masvingo chapter Chairperson Joyce Mhungu beseeched ZEC to engage some women organizations to do voter education especially in marginalized communities.

“We would really appreciate if ZEC invite some organizations that are willing to do voter education and it would be nice if women rights advocacy groups work hand in hand with ZEC as this can actually empower some women,” said Mhungu. 

ZEC has resumed electoral activities and voter registration is set to commence on April, 01, 2021. 

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