Zaka, following the continuous engagement of community leaders by Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) voter mobilizers, the traditional leaders have shifted their stance against perceived members of opposition parties. Traditional leaders have concurred that proof of residence letters would be issued to all eligible voters regardless of political background. Speaking at a voter education and mobilization campaign programme facilitated by COTRAD in collaboration with ZEC last week, traditional leaders stated that all potential voters were eligible to obtain proof of residence documents to enable them to register to vote in next year’s crucial polls.
Local villagers have expressed gratitude at the fact that proof residence letters are now being issued objectively and transparently. “As voter mobilizers, we are proud of most of our traditional leaders who are now willing to assist with proof of residence to all potential voters regardless of their political affiliation, we appeal to all citizens to obtain the relevant identity documents so that people can register to vote,” said Flora Nyamunda of Zaka Central.The Traditional leaders have also called on local villagers to brace themselves for the mobile voter registration exercise. Zaka District falls under the fourth phase of the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) blitz which runs from December 4-19.
COTRAD voter mobilizers encouraged villagers to acquire national identity cards and birth certificates under the Registrar General‘s mobile exercise to enable them to register to vote. The programme commenced on November 21 in Zaka district.
Elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by voter illiteracy, violence and intimidation of perceived opposition supporters. COTRAD Community mobilizers have appealed to ZEC to provide comprehensive voter education programmes. Such programmes will target women, youth, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups. Section 40B of the Electoral Act stipulates that ZEC should embark on voter education programmes in an accurate manner.