The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has claimed that social media misinformation is fueling voter registration apathy in the country.
Speaking on Wednesday night during a Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) Twitter space discussion, ZEC spokesperson Jasper Mangwana said there was a need to demystify the “misinformation” peddled by social media to ensure people register to vote.
This followed reports that there has been a low turn-out during the ZEC voter registration blitz which ends on April 30.
To some extent, we should be able to have numbers to say how many people are eligible to vote and how many are registered to vote, and what might be the reason for low registration. But in most cases, we have seen that misinformation on social media and even in the general public on the streets has caused a lot of voter apathy in many areas.
We, as the commission, will register them to vote, but it’s also important for people to know that as we get into these areas, let’s go and demystify the misinformation on election rigging which is not a reality in most cases.
Zimbabwe Election Advocacy Trust education and advocacy officer Sthabile Mlilo said ZEC cannot escape scrutiny by social media users. Mlilo added that ZEC should address the issues “rather than casting aspersions on concerned individuals.”
Election Resource Centre legal and advocacy officer Takunda Tsunga said voter apathy is caused by the lack of confidence in the electoral commission and its failure to address public concerns surrounding its independence and election administration.
ZESN chairperson Andrew Makoni said: “For ZEC to deliver a credible election, its systems must be transparent, inclusive and accountable.
This is happening ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.
More: NewsDay Zimbabwe