Majority of Zimbabweans are living in poverty, 72 percent of the population leave below the poverty datum line, the poorman’s vote is crucial to elect candidates that champion poverty eradication and remove from power corrupt and incompetent leaders.

The United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognized that the right to vote is key to achieving the full range of rights essential to all people — freedom of movement, speech, religion, association, and protest; freedom from violence and discrimination; access to food, water, a clean environment; and others.

“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government,” states the declaration.

“This will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government,” the declaration explains.

Across the globe, voting restrictions and misinformation make it hard to vote and this suppresses the will of the people.

In some places, citizens are violently threatened as they try to exercise this right, hope it will not be the anthem in our teapot shaped country, Zimbabwe as the elections day draw close by.

“If your vote didn’t matter, certain institutions and politicians wouldnot make it so difficult for you to vote,”

Caleb Jackson, voting rights legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center is quoted saying.

Jackson went on to say, “If your vote didn’t matter, we wouldn’t see voter suppression”.

In cases of diminished democracy, the most vulnerable people are often harmed. Their human rights often go unrealised, and their exclusion gets reinforced.

It is so crucial to exercise this right to vote in this coming elections.

The will of the people should be freely expressed so that extreme poverty, and all of its causes and consequences, are eliminated by those elected into power.

Politicians talk as experts on welfare and poverty, areas they appear to know little about and this sometimes turn away the poor from voting.

The media on the other hand seems to successfully recast poverty as light entertainment.

The poor man’s vote is equally important even as that of a President, credit is given to one man one vote policy.

The vote will have same value and is of singular significance. The poor should vote in their numbers so as to have their will given prominence.

Elected officials who prioritise the material interests of the poor and make investments in housing, food, water and sanitation, health care, women’s rights, education, jobs and training tend to be elected or re-elected while those who do not prioritise are not (re-)elected.

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