Zimbabwe’s electoral body said Thursday it has turned to online voter education ahead of general elections set for 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the parliament’s thematic committee on peace and security services, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana said voter education was now being conducted through various online platforms, as well as through radio owing to COVID-19 induced limitations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the conduct of voter education activities by the Commission and the ‘new normal’ has forced ZEC to come up with new ways to deliver voter education to the electorate without compromising their health as well as safety,” Silaigwana said, stressing despite threatening conditions due to the pandemic, continuous voter education must be done to promote individuals’ rights to voter education and vote.
“We implore the thematic committee to advance the need for continuous voter education as a tool to promoting peace and security at a grassroots level,” Silaigwana said.
Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the health minister, in September last year suspended the holding of parliamentary and local council by-elections in the country, citing COVID-19 concerns.
The electoral body resumed voter registration and other election-related programs in April this year. Enditem