By Roy Muroyi
It is a matter of public knowledge that Zec cannot be trusted with the election, but the voter registration numbers that have been presented are overwhelming. According to Zec, more than 5,5 million people have registered to vote in Zimbabwe’s general elections set for mid-2018.
People can still register to vote at district offices until 12 days after the sitting of the nomination courts that will confirm election candidates.
It is empirical that credit be given to certain citizens of Zimbabwe that have launched different campaigns to make sure that the voter registration process becomes a success. There is no doubt as well that the MDC-T has been the major player in insuring that people register to vote.
The MDC-T youth assembly in April 2017 launched the bereka mwana campaign, as part of the party’s drive to get as many citizens as possible to register to vote
This campaign ensured a voter registration hype among the young people. The campaign was aimed at ensuring that at least 2 million youths register to vote ahead of the 2018 watershed elections.
The campaign was led by the MDC-T youth assembly leader, Chidziva, a strong and vigilant cadre who has stayed resolute to the idea of change.
The campaign was meant to feed into the major MDC-T voter mobilisation campaigns. The bereka mwana tiende campaign was further partnered by other programs such as the #99campaign and #MudzidziVhota campaign.
The idea behind these campaigns was to make sure that all the people that surround an individual are taken to register to vote.
The campaigns were not only targeting the people in the urban areas, but also people in the rural areas. The Bereka mwana tiende campaign was literally challenging parents to take their children to vote with them, so as to improve their economic situation.
Throughout the election build up and voter registration period, Chidziva has given Zimbabwe his best in coming up with different campaigns to help Zec mobilise people for voting.
Though largely aligned to a political party, the campaigns launched by Chidziva have helped address the issue that was very much of national interest.
The issue of a new voter’s roll has been one of the electoral reforms that the country has been yearning for in order to usher in a democratically elected government.
It is this reason that makes the exercise so complex as the ruling party was neither willing to give in to the demands of the opposition to have new voters’ roll nor help in mobilising people to register to vote.
The mop-up exercise was necessitated by challenges faced by some prospective voters during the initial BVR registration campaign that ran from September to December 2017.
Voting in elections gives citizens a voice in the democratic process and in the decisions that affect local, state, and national issues.
Nonpartisan initiatives were needed and are still needed to encourage citizens to exercise their right to vote, which is among the most fundamental opportunities to be an active and engaged citizen.
The MDC-T through its youth assembly leader is again on record stating they will defend the vote, even with their lives.
This comes after most of Zimbabwe’s elections have been stolen or rigged and the international community has done nothing to rectify the situation.
It is very easy for the MDC-T going into this election to mobilise the youths to defend the vote by all means necessary judging from turnout of voter registration process.
The capability of the MDC-T to mobilise for voter registration while the ruling party was entangled in inhouse fighting might also give the MDC Alliance a winning edge over the ruling party.
I hope you will join this effort by getting involved, registering, voting and encouraging others to do the same!