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Journalists petition Parliament over postal voting

Journalists petition Parliament over postal voting

Journalists Mandla Tshuma and Lulu Harris have petitioned the Parliament of Zimbabwe asking it to amend Section 73 of the Electoral Act to allow journalists the privilege of postal voting.

Postal voting is currently available for diplomats posted outside the country and members of the uniformed forces who will be deployed during the elections.

The privilege is not mandatory as the people are required to apply for it.

However, due to the nature of their job where they are at times posted away from areas they are registered to vote in, journalists are of the view that they must be considered for postal voting.

This is because Zimbabwe uses polling station-based voting.

This has seen Tshuma and Harris taking it upon themselves to petition Parliament as the country readies for the 2023 general elections.

The petition was read by the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda who referred it to the relevant committee.

‘’I have to inform the House that on Monday 18th July 2022 Parliament received the following Petition from Mandla Tshuma and Lulu Harris beseeching Parliament to amend Section 73 of the Electoral Act to include journalists among persons who qualify for postal voting ahead of 2023 harmonised elections.

‘’The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,’’ he said.

The Committee is supposed to take the petition for public hearings to give the citizens an opportunity to air their views on the matter.

Zimbabwe’s constitution requires that Parliament should involve the citizens in law and policy formulation.

However, in as much as it tries to gather people’s views, Parliament has often been accused of ignoring the views it gathers from people.

There are several bills that were rejected by people when Parliament conducted public hearings, but those bills still went ahead to be passed. It remains to be seen if the citizens will concur with Tshuma and Harris on the matter

Journalists petition Parliament over postal voting

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