• GNYA

Youth in Zimbabwe Trained on Elections

A Global Network for Youth Action member based in Zimbabwe, the Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN), was featured but a local media outlet for their recent election training. The story written by CCDN staff member, Helliet Nyamunda, is below:

Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) trained forty (40) youth on voter mobilization, meaning and importance of elections, voters roll inspection, voting, election observation and monitoring in Chitungwiza recently.

The training workshop which trained forty youth from different wards of Chitungwiza was convened in preparation of the 2018 elections. Chitungwiza youth were encouraged by CCDN to pass the message to the people at home and in the surrounding societies.

The training workshop equipped the youth with skills and knowledge on voter education, legal frameworks on elections in Zimbabwe, meaning and importance of elections, the electoral processes in Zimbabwe, BVR/Voters roll inspection and voting, election observation and monitoring for the upcoming election. “Voter education is very important and as we have trained you, we expect you to educate others about the electoral process and we will be doing community outreaches with you”, said Margret Chogugudza one of the facilitators. She also took the participants through the legal framework of elections in Zimbabwe. The youth were told about the days of voters roll inspection which are from 19 May to 29 May, a period of 11 days.

“The process of displaying the voters roll for public scrutiny with a view to verify the correctness of the details on the voters roll is form 19 to 29 May 2018”, said Admire Mutize who was also the co-facilitator. He said that voter registration is still progressing and people can register to vote in their wards during the inspection period and all inspection centres.

Kudzai (26) asked if it is possible to transfer your details from one polling station to another one due to different reasons and he was told that it is very possible and people were encouraged to transfer their details and change their wards if there is need.

Helliet Nyamunda the other facilitator talked about the principles of a good election include periodic, integrity, inclusive, comprehensive, accessibility, accuracy, stakeholder participation, informed public and security. She urged the youth and other citizens to observe the conduct of state officials and civil society, observe the reasons why people are turned away from registering and from voting, the environment before, during and after the elections and report any cases that can lead to the unfairness of the election.

The participants were encouraged to set aside their political affiliations and serve their communities during mobilisation and election observation. They were told to report any cases that disturbs the free, fair and credible election everyone is aspiring for.

“As election observers you should be aware of your political bias as it might affect your judgement in your documentation of events” said Helliet.

“The trained individuals are expected to make use of digital technologies in documenting political violence and human rights abuses” said the director of CCDN.

He also said that together with the trained participants will reach out to the communities providing voter education and raising awareness about the days and period of voters roll inspection to the public and Chitungwiza residents.

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