CSOs ready for 2023 elections

Staff Reporter


GWERU – Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) operating in the Midlands Province are ready to play
their watchdog role during this year’s August 23 elections.
Apart from educating the public on electoral processes, CSOs monitor and observe the polling
Speaking during a meeting convened by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network to map out
interventions towards the elections, ZESN Midlands chairperson Marjory Makunere said CSOs
were ready as their line of work is advocating and encouraging the public to participate in
electoral processes.
“We explored various modalities for pursuing collaborations among CSOs in the run-up and
aftermath of the harmonised elections so as to avoid duplication of efforts,” Makunere said.
She said participation is one component in an open democratic space and CSOs should engage
their different constituencies so that they effectively participate in the upcoming elections.
Youth Essence director Nobuhle Mahlahla said they are preaching peace through the National
Peace and Reconciliation Commission.
She said young people especially first-time voters were excited about voting for fellow youthful
“A number of youths have registered, but some feel it is not necessary to vote and these are the
ones we are trying to encourage,” she said.
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association programmes officer Fadzai Kanyai said they will
continue to encourage residents to participate in the upcoming elections.
“We encourage residents to vote and as a residents-based organisation, councillors come through
this process and so residents need to participate.
Kanyai said her organisation was conducting candidates debates, which are all aimed at coming up
with an informed voter.
“We want to encourage tolerance so that there is no violence and understand that even if people
have different views, they are able to work together,” she said.
Women Coalition of Zimbabwe Gweru chairperson Nozipo Rutsate said they were advocating for
inclusivity in all electoral positions.
“We are basically working with women and girls’ rights, where we seek to promote women
participation in decision making and governance,” she said.
Rutsate said there was a lot of violence in the political space that had resulted in a decrease in the
number of women candidates in 2023 as compared to 2018.

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