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Doctors demand soldiers’ privileges, say must be allowed to vote at work in 2018

05/05/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
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GOVERNMENT should establish polling stations in public and private hospitals to allow health workers to exercise their right to vote during the forthcoming elections, a leading doctors association has said.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said since the doctors and nurses have been placed in “essential services” category together with security forces it is shocking that the same privileges that have been extended to the security forces with regards the electoral process have not been extended to medical practitioners.

The association says polling stations should be established at central and provincial hospitals in the same manner as they are in security forces’ bases.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is currently making preparations for the 2018 general elections.

In a petition sent to ZEC and signed the by the association’s board secretary, Dr Evans Masitara, the doctors said since hospitals host a large proportion of workforce during the election time, the medical practitioners should be allowed to vote and still provide the essential services.

“Doing so will assist in preventing interrupting service provision by health professionals in exercising their right to vote by increasing access to such facilities,” said the statement.

“Further, the increased access to polling centres will increase participation of the carders in the process,” it added.

Masitara further said a snap survey conducted by his association showed that about 30% of eligible voters who work in the sector participated in the last general elections.

“We will be pleased to meet the commission for a discussion on this and other attending issues relating to participation of health practitioners in the electoral process,” he added.

According ZEC, security personnel who are unable to attend their designated polling stations on the day of elections are allowed to cast their ballots early at special polling stations in their barracks.


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