The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) together with the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) and the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) will, on Monday 12 June 2017, meet the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on ways to enhance the participation of health professionals in electoral processes.
The argument is essentially that the health sector particularly doctors and nurses have been placed on ‘essential services’ category as with the security forces i.e. army and the police.
We believe not much has been done to extend the same privileges to medical practitioners as has been extended to the army and police for purpose of enhancing their participation in electoral purposes. Special facilities such as establishment of registration centres and polling stations and postal voting are granted to the security forces.
Hospitals and other notable public institutions do not scale down services because there is an election. In fact, the history of our elections which have been largely characterised by violence even call for health professionals who are on duty, on call and alert for the purposes of not only attending to victims of politically motivated violence but to the general provision of care to ailing Zimbabweans.
Therefore increasing access to polling stations will assist in preventing interruption of service provision by health professionals in exercising their right to vote as guaranteed in Section 67 of the Constitution.
Further, the increased access to polling centres will encourage participation of the cadres in the process. Zima Zimbabwe Pharmacists Council of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Zimbabwe Nurses Association Calvin Kobiri Fambirai CWGH