Jane Zibusiso Nkiwane
BULAWAYO- Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) District Administration Officer for Bulawayo Sithembiso Khuphe has urged women to fully participate in electoral process.
Khuphe told delegates Friday at a women’s elections round table meeting held at Pumula North Hall that they should elect leaders who can further their interests. She also warned that non-participation may have far reaching consequences.
“If a ward has inadequate registered voters, ZEC is compelled to merge the constituency with other bigger constituencies. As a result, you will lose control of your resources as decision making is taken away from you because you will be at the mercy of leaders from other constituencies,” she said.
The meeting aimed at encouraging civic participation was hosted by a coalition of NGOs, namely Community Podium, Girls Table, Ekhaya Vote and Women Institute of Leadership and Development (WILD).
Khuphe announced that Phase One of the voting registration process will commence on the first day of February 2022 and run up to the 28th of February. She also stated that ZEC registration centres will be doted around the city for proximity purposes.
“For the registration process, you need to bring your National Identification card (ID) and proof of residence,” she added.
Ward 17 Councilor Sikhululekile Moyo asked residents to support women who are aspiring for political positions and those that are currently in office. She encouraged people to disregard party affiliation and consider individuals’ competency.
The Girls Table Director Samukeliso Tshuma urged women not only to take part in the voting process but to also to contest for political positions to increase the number women leaders at local and national level.”There are only three women in cabinet, and only 26% are women,” she said.
Recalled Member of Parliament, Sichelesile Mahlangu said most constituencies that have women as MPs are generally faring better.
“The message I have for you fellow women is that you should take part in politics in spite of obstacles like recalls. If we unite and support each other victory is certain,” she said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed March 26 as the date for the by-elections through Statutory Instrument 2 of 2022. The nomination court sat on January 26 to register candidates.