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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Society calls for early observer deployment
Mayshazi, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
June 09, 2013
organisations on Friday submitted a petition
to Mozambican authorities pleading with Sadc to ensure that Zimbabwe
institutes key reforms ahead of elections.
Court recently ordered
President Robert Mugabe to
proclaim election dates and have the polls held by July 31 this
But other political
parties including the two MDC formations and civil society insist
that the elections must only be held after key reforms are made
to ensure a level playing field.
was presented to the Mozambican Foreign Affairs ministry, the Joachim
Chissano Foundation and will also be distributed at a Sadc extraordinary
summit to be held at a date yet to be announced.
Among the key
concerns for the civil society groups was that Sadc send an observer
mission to Zimbabwe to assess the pre-electoral environment.
Sadc to constitute and deploy an observer mission to Zimbabwe to
monitor key electoral processes and assess the pre-electoral environment
as soon as possible, preferably before the expiry of the life of
parliament, June 29,” reads part of the petition.
societies fear that the country is hurtling towards an election
without key reforms and this will be detrimental to democracy, leading
to a disputed
election, as with the 2008 polls.
The last elections
were bloody and MDC-T claims that 200 of its supporters were
killed by Zanu PF militia and State security agents as they tried
to prop up President Robert Mugabe, who lost to MDC leader and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
failed to garner enough votes to claim presidency, leading to the
formation of the Government
of National Unity.
The civil society
organisations said it was important that the Sadc observer mission
be deployed early, as there were already signs that there was a
clampdown on dissenting political players and the media.
society members, journalists working for the private media and specifically
targeted party members are being harassed, assaulted and arrested
on a continuous basis,” the petition continues. “The
violence against ordinary citizens is turning up in volume, as we
head towards elections.”
Ahead of the
voter registration exercise set to start on Monday (tomorrow), the
civic society, under the umbrella of the Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition, raised concern that in the past there
had not had access to the voters’ roll and when they did,
they realised that it was in shambles.
past few elections, we have not had access to the voters’
roll, even though it is public information,” the petition
reads. “When we have been able to have sight of this very
important document, we have noticed that it was a mess.
Among the key
reforms the organisations are calling for, are a proper voter registration
exercise, followed by a non-partisan voter registration exercise,
a professional security services sector and media reforms.
also asked Sadc, if it was going to help fund the elections, to
ensure that the funding came with conditions that Zimbabwe was committed
to following the Sadc guidelines on free and fair elections.
were in Mozambique ahead of a Sadc summit which was set to deliberate
on political problems in Zimbabwe, but the meeting was postponed
indefinitely after Zanu PF asked for more time to study a ruling
by the Constitutional Court which ordered Mugabe to proclaim election
dates and have the polls held by July 31 this year.
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