The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has started consultations with civil society organisations (CSOs) to craft new voter education material as part of the wider electoral reforms it is carrying out.
The reforms are part of a battery of political, economic and legal measures being implemented in the Second Republic.
Zimbabwe, which held its last general election last year, was widely commended by local and foreign observer missions for organising a peaceful and credible election.
They, however, made a number of recommendations to further improve future elections.
With the next election due in 2023, Zec has already initiated reforms that were recommended by various stakeholders in preparation for the next election.
For example, Zec has produced a consolidated electoral reform package for consideration by Parliament following wide consultations with stakeholders.
And to further the electoral reform agenda, Zec was on Tuesday consulting CSOs at a workshop on voter education material in Macheke.
“The workshop will culminate in the production of voter education materials for the 2019 to 2023 cycle,” said Zec.
Last week, Zec piloted the display of the voters’ roll outside polling stations during National Assembly and local authority by-elections in Lupane and Nkayi in line with the Southern African Development Community guidelines on the conduct of democratic elections.
Displaying the voters’ roll outside polling stations is expected to improve transparency and dispel allegations of ghost voters.
The issue of voter’s roll has been contentious in previous elections and the new system would assist to dispel any mistrust.
On its part, the government, also as part of the reform agenda, has crafted the Freedom of Information Bill, which will repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act which had been cited as a barrier to accessing public information.
The Bill will give effect to section 62 of the Constitution which enshrines in the Declaration of Rights the right of access to information.
On the other hand, President Emmerson Mnangagwa constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee to lead political, electoral and legislative reforms in March this year to speed up the reform agenda.
He has also initiated a political dialogue framework with opposition parties as part of efforts to pacify the polarised political environment.- New Ziana