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Election Commission Starts Vetting Voter Education Programs

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has invited civic organizations working on voter education campaigns to register with the commission by next week as the nation prepares for crucial general elections next year expected to be held in March.

In a notice published in the state-controlled media, ZEC said all organizations should comply with the nation’s Electoral Act which gives the commission powers to limit the number of voter education groups.

The piece of legislation also allows the commission to check voter education material used by various organizations before being distributed nationally.

Interested groups or individuals will be asked to provide the commission with registration certificates, profiles including board members and general membership, telephone numbers, constitution and related information.

Election Resource Center director Tawanda Chimhini said he hopes the move will be positive for Zimbabwe.

"The reservations that organizations will have is that the commission has not yet built enough credibility around itself so that people do not start thinking that it will favor and marginalize some groups," said Chimhini.

A number of organizations in the country have already started their voter education campaigns targeting various Zimbabweans including youths believed to be skeptical about the forthcoming elections.