AHEAD of the 2023 Zimbabwean elections, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) has embarked on a massive voter mobilization exercise.
The Crisis Report spoke to the ERC’s Legal and Advocacy Officer, Takunda Tsunga and below we publish Tsunga’s presentation on the ERC’s ‘Register to Vote Campaign’.“The Register to Vote Campaign is an online campaign that seeks to address issues around the importance of voter registration, issues around ensuring that the youths, women and marginalized groups actively participate in the voter registration process. As you have noticed in the 2019 Zimbabwe Electoral Commission report, approximately 1 444 people registered to vote nationally which was a very appalling and alarming figure in terms of voter registration in a year when over 500 000 youths reached the age of 18.
Therefore the ERC sought to create platforms where citizens could engage around voter registration and the importance of voter registration and through these engagements, the ERC provides the shuttle service which assists citizens who would like to register to vote. One of the biggest concerns around voter registration was issues around the distance. The ERC introduced the shuttle service, which had been available in 2018. When people call our call centre, we take them to the nearest registration centres and wait for them to register and return them to where they would have been picked up. This has proven to be a very effective tool in getting citizens out to vote.
Secondly, the ERC is working with corporates who want to assist with the mobilisation drive. Corporates by nature have a larger following, they have a large loyal backing, therefore, they should be in a position where they are using their platforms to assist citizens to mobilize to register to vote. The ERC has been working with Joys Pizza in Harare which has been providing us with pizzas to ensure that we are able to use the pizzas in an innovative way to mobilize citizens to register to vote. Therefore, we had targeted University of Zimbabwe and Harare Polytechnic students where we had been providing pizzas to students who actually registered to vote.