An informed and empowered citizenry that contributes to national transformation
Key result areas
- Strengthening dialogue for national transformation
- Promoting good governance and social integration
- Election monitoring and observation
Some key highlights from the Commission
Position Paper on Constitutional Amendment Bill Number One
In April 2017, EFZ mobilized the participation of its members across the country in the parliament driven public hearings on the bill that would usher in the first amendment to the new constitution. EFZ members participated in all the 10 provinces were these hearings were conducted. Further, EFZ facilitated dialogue between its members and legal experts on the bill. The technical dialogue culminated in the development of an EFZ Position Paper on the Constitutional Amendment Bill Number One. The Position Paper which was submitted to Parliament, clearly highlighted that the church did not support the proposed amendment.
Successful completion of 2ndPhase of Social Accountability Initiative
The Commission also successfully completed the second phase of its Social Accountability Initiative in Tsholotsho, Chipinge and Gokwe. The Initiative was 12 months long and it helped to, among other things, i) establish sustained platforms for dialogue between communities (led by the church) and their local authorities, ii) improve the delivery of basic social services in these districts by at least 30% within the 12 months period, iii) enhance the capacities of communities to effectively engage local level decision making process and iv) strengthen communities capacities to actually hold their public officials to account
ZHOCD Meeting with the Chiefs’ council
EFZ, through the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD), facilitated its maiden dialogue platform with the Chiefs’ Council in July 2017. The meeting was the first step in establishing a tripartite dialogue platform between the church, the Chiefs and War Veterans with the aim of working together to promote peace and peaceful co-existence especially as the country prepares itself for elections in 2018. The history of most of our elections is tainted with violence and high levels of political intolerance. Therefore, it is hoped that sustained engagements with key Institutions such as the Chiefs’ Council are necessary steps to follow as the church works towards promoting peace and tolerenace especially in electoral processes.
Some of the key outcomes of the meeting were that:
- There was agreement on both sides that the engagement or collaborative platform of the church and Chiefs will be issue based. Therefore, both parties agreed on the need to establish a list of the issues that both institutions can collaborate on.
- The next meeting (date was not settled on) will be considering the list of the issues that will be presented by the church and possibly agree on specific issues that will resonate with both institutions.
- Additionally, church leaders agreed to go back and clearly outline the WHY, HOW, WHEN and WHAT questions raised by the traditional leaders. Responses to these questions will necessarily inform how the collaborative platform will be engaging.
ZHOCD Strategy Building –Learning Exchange
EFZ through the ZHOCD platform conducted a learning exchange workshop. The workshop brought together church leaders from all 4 ZHOCD members to learn from churches from Lesotho, Kenya and Zambia on the roles they have played in their electoral processes. Additionally, the event also allowed for ZHOCD to develop a strategy document that highlights the key actions that the church in Zimbabwe has now committed to take in this election process. Commitments have also been made to ensure the replication of the ZHOCD structure at district and provincial level
Consultations on church’s view on voter registration and elections
As the country prepares to go into another election period, the Commission has also conducted feedback meetings with its membership in some of the provinces to establish their perceptions on Voter registration, that may hinder their participation, especially the newly introduced Biometric Voter Registration process. Some of the key points established from this exercise are listed below:
- Lack of trust in the electoral process and registration process in particular
- Techno- phobia
- Distances to registration centers
- Bottlenecks in registration requirements
- Lack of information on the voter registration process
- Time frame given for registration may be insufficient
- Few/ limited options for candidates
To respond to the concerns that EFZ members raised regarding the new BVR process, the Commission has developed a civic and voter education intervention. The intervention is aimed at demystifying the BVR process and motivating Christians to take responsibility and register to vote. The intervention begins in October 2017 in Mashonaland East, West, Central, Manicaland, Mavingo, Midlands and Matebeleland South