THE Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has joined several civil society organisations (CSOs) in encouraging citizens to register as voters ahead of the forthcoming elections.
This comes as CSOs in the Matabeleland provinces have ramped up campaigns to boost the numbers of voters in the region; with some of them offering incentives to encourage people to register to vote. The voter registration blitz has largely been motivated by a recent survey carried out by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network which indicated that Matabeleland and Masvingo provinces were likely to lose some parliamentary constituencies during the forthcoming delimitation exercise due to low figures of registered voters.
In a latest campaign for the same, ZADHR is encouraging health professionals to register to vote.
ZADHR’s campaign titled, #ParticipateEngageInfluence, is targeting health practitioners in the country.
“Our campaign is trying to urge health workers to be more proactive in terms of their civil engagement especially when it comes to politics and mainly the right to participate in choosing leaders.
“Actually there are several studies that health care professionals are not involved in voting processes. The studies say doctors do not participate in registering to vote and voting. This is not only a Zimbabwean challenge but occurs worldwide,” said ZADHR secretary-general Norman Matara.
He added: “It has been observed that physicians are not active, so globally there have been campaigns to try and encourage healthcare professionals to be proactive. This is what we are doing as well, encouraging our doctors and nurses to participate in civic processes.”
Matara said they are taking a leaf from American medical practitioners who set up a group to encourage civilians to register and vote.
“These doctors would actually do their campaigns, leading civilians to centres of registration, to register to vote in America.”
“As ZADHR, we are trying out this similar campaign encouraging people to register to vote and vote for candidates of their choice, so that their voices can actually be heard and then can be proactive in terms of those issues,” he said.
This also comes as the Zimbabwe National Statists Agency (Zimstat) has begun a pilot census across the country’s ten provinces.
The census results will be used in the delimitation of the country’s 120 constituencies ahead of the fast-approaching 2023 harmonised elections.