Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Quite a number of people failed to exercise their right to vote in the just ended Zimbabwe referendum after failing to produce the relevant identifications. Only people with National Identity cards and current passports were eligible to vote, however because of lack of voter education, most people were ignorant of the correct documentation needed. This trend was noted both in urban and rural as people carried birth certificates, or photocopied national identity cards, expired passports as well as driver’s licences to try and vote. At Mthombowesizwe Primary school in Entumbane (Bulawayo) one eager person was turned away after producing a birth certificate. Some youths below 18 years but were of the idea that possessing an I.D was eligibility to vote were also turned away. Only those who turned 18 years on or before 15 March 2013 were eligible to vote. At Lukhanyiso Primary in Mpopoma (Bulawayo) one was turned away because the I.D was too old and damaged beyond recognition, while at Amhlophe in Pumula there was a similar case. ‘Aliens’ were also not spared as they were turned away in most polling stations in Bulawayo and outlying stations. At Cameroon Primary School in UMguza at a community that is largely Xhosa speaking, the Habakkuk Trust Observer Mission noted at midday about four people were turned away for having brought a letter from the church as they did not have national identity documents. At Esikhoveni and Mbalabala in UMzingwane a significant number of voters who were turned away had brought birth certificates

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Devolution of power has topped the agenda during the Habakkuk Trust study circles that the organization has been doing with the community advocacy action teams in Gwanda, Matobo, Mangwe and Gwanda as community members vow to vote yes for the draft due to the devolution provisions. Speaking during a constitutional study circle in Gwanda ward 14, Mr Sibanda from the ward 14 Action Team, said ‘as long as there is devolution of power, I am voting yes for this draft constitution.’ The same sentiments were uttered by Mrs Gladys Ndlovu from Gwanda Ward 2 who said that ‘with us from this region, its all about the power to manage our resources and to determine our lives that is why I will vote yes for this constitution because it gives power to the provinces.’ Villagers in Mangwe ward 1 and 13 applauded the draft constitution for providing for more rights and for having provisions on provincial governments. ‘We have been advocating for basic services such as access to water and education and it has been a nightmare to have those issues resolved because of the centralized system. Now that we are going to have devolution of power, we see it as the first step towards addresses our issues commented Headman Zibuyeni from Empandeni. Speaking during the sidelines of a study circle in Ezimnyama (Mangwe) Ward 2 ZANU PF Councillor Mr Edward Masisa said ‘truly we cannot afford to miss this opportunity this time. From across political parties we just need to agree and accept that devolution of power it is the make or break of this draft constitution.’ Matobo ward 4 Councillor Mr Sibangani Ncube expressed similar sentiments to those of Councillor Masisa saying ‘this draft constitution is not perfect. There are some clauses that are not clear and some parts that we may not like. Even the part on devolution is not comprehensive but as an initial document I think we can work on it and improve especially on the devolution aspects’. Habakkuk Trust conducted the constitutional study circles to raise awareness on the contents of the draft constitution so as to enable residents to vote from an informed position. During the study circles Habakkuk Trust observed that there were very few people who had seen or read the draft constitution with only a few days left to the referendum. Khumbulani Maphosa Habakkuk Trust Programmes Officer to get live updates on the referundum like Habakkuk Trust's page:

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Habakkuk Trust has established that on estimate, an average of 1 out of 14 people have seen the actual draft constitution. During the Habakkuk Trust constitutional study circles, the organization undertook a survey to establish how many community leaders have seen or read the draft constitution. From Dambashoko and Datata out of a team of 23 members only one member of the community had the draft and others claimed to have seen it being carried by the Chief in a community meeting that was done a week back. The situation was the same in Zhukwe where out of 19 members, only one person had seen the draft constitution. Nkashe was no different, as it was ascertained by Habakkuk staff at another constitutional study circle that; from the 28 community leaders who attended the meeting, only 3 have had the privilege of seeing and reading the draft constitution. In total in the last three days Habakkuk Trust has reached 70 rural community leaders through the constitutional study circles and only 5 of them had seen the draft constitution prior to Habakkuk Trust’s constitutional study circles.