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CIVIL society organisations (CSOs) in Bulawayo have rapped the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) for sidelining them during consultations over voter registration, preparations for the 2018 elections and the issuing of identification documents.
Zec last week met various political parties in Bulawayo, where they discussed challenges faced by survivors of the Gukurahundi massacres in obtaining identification documents to enable them to register as voters.
The civil society organisations said the meeting would have offered them an opportunity to contribute their ideas on how Zec could conduct both registration and voting processes.
This Constitution leader, Abigale Mupambi accused Zec of deliberately snubbing civil society groups.
“Most of CSOs in Matabeleland have been following proceedings through the media. This behaviour and attitude of Zec appears deliberate and we wonder, who they really work with in the region since they seem to sideline such a critical stakeholder,” she said.
“Zec needs a clear reminder that Harare is not Zimbabwe and they really need to improve going forward.”
Ibhetshu likaZulu secretary-general, Mbuso Fuzwayo said: “CSOs represent a particular interest group, excluding them is unfortunate. They play an oversight role in monitoring the government and this ensures proper democracy and observation of human and democratic rights,” he said.
War veteran, Max Mnkandla said Zec should make it a point to involve all interests groups on issues of democracy.
“These groups stand for the rights of the people, while political parties that Zec concentrate on are centred on their political interests, which might be against what people want,” he said.
“Zec is betraying the people by not inviting people’s representative organisations, as a result people were not represented in that meeting.”
By Silas Nkala. newsday