CSOs call for government’s helping hand on future voter education

Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Lake Zone have asked the government to devise strategies that can enable them access funds directly from the government when it comes to conducting voter education in future elections.

Speaking in Mwanza on 8 February, on behalf of the Lake Zone CSOs that participated in a meeting to review the voter education exercise conducted during the 2015 General elections, Mr. Edwin Soko said many CSOs could not afford to reach out to a substantial number of citizens living in rural areas, due to limited funding.

Reacting to the comment, the Director of Elections at the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Mr. Ramadhani Kailima, pointed a number of weaknesses that emerged during the 25 October elections that were largely in relation to the scale of voter education conducted.

He said during the voting day NEC observed some incidences which culminated in a number of votes being declared null and void – such that due to lack of the education or other reasons best known to them some people decided to make funny drawings in their ballot papers, inserting inappropriate signs, as well as insults.

However, without directly making a comment to the CSOs earlier request, Mr. Kailima again said the voter education failed to meets its targets due to the fact that some CSOs (based on reasons best known to them) decided to conduct the voter education in contravention with the NEC guidelines, and hence paid more attention to their donor’s prerequisites. 

 

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