By Descent Dube
A coalition of Matabeleland region Civic Society Organizations (CSOs) on Friday launched EkhayaVote2023 campaign in a bid to promote citizens electoral participation.
The campaign seeks to embark on voter education campaigns, grassroots voter mobilisation, enhance civic participation and the creation of a favourable environment prior⁸, during and post the 2023 elections.
The coalition’s representative Samukeliso Khumalo said the campaign is motivated by a possible threat to reduce constituencies by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) due to low numbers of people who are registered to vote.
“The absence of sustainable community based initiatives that mobilize citizens particularly youths, first time voters and women to participate in the electoral process has led to a widespread voter apathy and lack of confidence in the electoral system. (As a result) Matabeleland region is under threat of losing a number of constituencies,” said Khumalo.
Khumalo who is the Women Institute Leadership Development (WILD) executive director said the campaign will contribute towards voter turnout through extensive voter education campaigns and ensure accessibility to registration centres.
“The EkhayaVote2023 has its uniqueness where its coalition member organisations directly work with communities and have become a voice, help in capacity building and play an intermediary role between citizens duty bearers,” she said.
Previously voter registration patterns have translated into Matabeleland provinces particularly Bulawayo having fewer constituencies compared to other provinces and the continuation of this thread could lead to less constituencies in the provinces before 2023.
“We call upon various stakeholders to take charge & set a participatory narrative by ensuring that all citizens eligible to vote get the required information so that we can collectively rally for a record breaking electoral participation,” Khumalo said.