#JUSTIN: SADC Says Zim Election Was Not Disability Inclusive

THE SADC Elections Observer Mission (SEOM), has raised concern over the inaccessibility of some polling stations by persons living with disabilities.

By Staff Reporter 

Sharing preliminary findings from the 2023 General Elctions process, Head of SEOM, His Excellency, Dr Nervers Mumba said while the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) made efforts to print some ballot papers in braille, it still fell short of accommodating other disability groups.

8% of the polling stations observed were not accessible to voters living with disabilities. At least 50% of the polling stations, voters living with disabilities, the elderly, and pregnant women were not given priority to vote,” said Dr Mumba.

He also raised concern over the absence of women political and presidential candidates in 2023 harmonized election.

“Stakeholders that also included political parties acknowledged the significance of section 80 of the Constitution, and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which require that women be given equal opportunities as men in political, social and economic activities.

“Despite the innovations that Zimbabwe has made, such as the provision of the 30% female quota in respect of councillors for local authorities, the Mission noted that a lot more still needs to be done to achieve gender parity in contested/elected political positions.

“In this regard, he said the Mission was advised that in 2023 less women actually succeeded at their parties primary elections, and effectively less women stood for the National Assembly, whilst only one woman stood for the presidency. Amongst others, this could also be attributed to the high nomination fees.”

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