Democracy is a pivotal aspect for Zimbabwe as a nation. One characteristic in people-based country is general election. Ever since the first election which was held in 1979 (although it is not recognized internationally due to the under-representation of native majority), Zimbabwe has held several more elections.
The elections involve all registered citizens of the country. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (or more known by its abbreviation, ZEC) is an organization that is appointed to manage elections in there. It manages the elections in all political levels, from provincial councils to president.
Basically ZEC is doing most of the works in Zimbabwe’s elections. In the preparation stage, it registers people who are eligible to vote as well as preparing ballot papers and voting centers. In the duration of election, the organization ensures that voting process runs smoothly and all the registers and rolls are compiled well.
After the election, it deals with disputes that may arise due to voting process and results. Another important role of ZEC is educating Zimbabwean people about voting and election. Luckily, there is Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZECS), and organization that has similar objective.
ZECS was established in 2000, earlier than ZEC. It wants to help achieving democratic environment in the electoral system of Zimbabwe. The organization believes that making a standardized approach to election method as well as widening the geographical coverage and coordinating election-related activities are important in achieving that objective. That way, election that is fair and free will be promoted. The results would serve for the betterment of Zimbabwean people in general.
There are several strategies that ZECS adapts in order to fulfill its main objectives. First of all, it continuously promotes better formulation of judicial framework for public election in the country. Throughout every election held since its establishment, the organization conducts monitoring and observation on the events through objective means. In addition to that, it constantly tries to educate people about the significant role of election in democratic nation. The education efforts need to be done seriously and regularly.
For a country that only gained independence in 1980, there are so many things that the citizens need to learn. Even a country that has become independent for longer time still needs to improve its democratic system, including election process. ZECS really wants to engage citizens so the participation rate in issues related to democracy and governance in Zimbabwe would increase. To do that, citizens must be informed about the impacts of voting. In addition to that, citizens must be educated in the stages of election so that they can make informed decisions.