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Civil Society Organizations Apply for Election Accreditation

Some civil society organizations Tuesday filed applications with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for permission to conduct voter education ahead of the country's national polls.

Most of them also want to observe the electoral process.

Many organizations reportedly failed to meet the weekend deadline to submit their applications because of various issues, including stringent requirements that were set by the electoral body.

Director Philip Pasirayi of the Center for Community Development in Zimbabwe said they met with ZEC officials over the weekend and agreed that the requirements should be reviewed.

Pasirayi said NGOs hope to hear from ZEC as early as Wednesday so they can hit the ground with the voter education campaigns.
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ZEC invited applications from prospective observers but categorically stated that “no consortium, confederation or similar association of local organizations may apply for accreditation of its constituent members as observers."

The electoral body further noted that, "The consortium, confederation or association may only apply for the management team or secretariat.”

ZEC chief elections officer Lovemore Sekeramayi said anyone convicted of any electoral offence involving fraud or dishonesty would not be considered.

Local observers are charged $10.00 and those from Africa are paying a $20 accreditation fee.