AS Zimbabwe heads towards the 2023 elections, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe has launched an alert button to prioritise the safety of journalists as temperatures heat up. While there were no reported cases of physical attacks against media practitioners ahead of the March 26 by-elections, there are fears over their safety to ensure access to election related information. “We realize that media practitioners always collect, or always have in custody critical information that is part of their news, part of dissemination but also information that they get from their sources hence the issue of confidentiality is very important about the protection of their devices and the protection of their documents,” MISA- Zimbabwe Legal ICT Policy Ocer Nompilo Simanje said.
During elections, journalists frequently cover rallies, campaign events, and protests which can increase their risk of being attacked, harassed, and detained. Journalists may be required to report in areas or communities that are hostile to the media or outsiders. This can happen if a community perceives that the media does not fairly represent them or portrays them in a negative light.
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The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a group of 37 non-governmental
organisations working to promote democratic elections in Zimbabwe held its 22nd Annual General Meeting where
it re-elected Mr Andrew Makoni as the Chairperson and Mr Dumisani Nkomo as the Vice-Chairperson. Both Mr
Makoni and Mr Nkomo’s nominations were uncontested and therefore duly elected.
Other organisations elected to be represented in the ZESN Board are; Albino Trust Zimbabwe (ATZ),
Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERRA), Evangelical Fellowship of
Zimbabwe (EFZ), Christian Alliance of Zimbabwe (CAZ), Media Monitors (MM), Catholic Commission for
Justice and Peace (CCJP), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), and the Youth
Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT).
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As a build-up towards gathering credible information on the second phase of the voter registration
process and as part of the commitment to support democratic development and promote credible,
transparent and accountable electoral processes in Zimbabwe; the Election Resource Centre (ERC)
and Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) observed the second phase of the BVR blitz on
an independent and nonpartisan basis for all Zimbabweans. The joint observation effort served to
provide citizens and key stakeholders with accurate, independent, timely, and credible information
on the BVR blitz process. ERC and ZESN’s further objective was to ensure the 2022 BVR blitz
exercise was transparent, inclusive, and accountable as well as in conformity with regional and
international best practices.
Before the commencement of the phase 2 Registration Blitz, the Registrar General, began a
National Identity Document (ID card) issuance blitz on 01 April 2022. This was 10 days before
the second BVR blitz which was to begin on 11 April 2022. The national ID blitz will run until
September 2022 in all provinces across the country. A national ID is an important document for
one to register as a voter during the voter registration process. ERC, ZESN and other stakeholders
contend that without the issuance of IDs a large group of eligible Zimbabweans will be
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