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Government's proposed amendments to the Electoral Act
December 08, 2001

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General Laws Amendment Bill, 2001 (H.B. 16, 2001)
New Clause inserted after Clause 2
By the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs


After clause 2 ending on line 15 on page 3 of the Bill, insert the following clause, the subsequent clauses being renumbered accordingly—

"3 Amendment of Cap. 2:01

The Electoral Act [Chapter 2:01] is amended—

(a) in section 2 by the insertion in subsection (1) of the following definitions—

""Commission" means the Electoral Supervisory Commission appointed in terms of section 61 of the Constitution;

"counting centre" means any place notified by a constituency registrar in terms of section 73 as a place where the counting of votes will take place;

"electoral officer" means the Registrar-General, a constituency registrar, presiding officer, polling officer or counting officer;

"monitor" means a person appointed and accredited as a monitor in terms of section 14B;

"observer" means a person accredited as an observer in terms of section 4A;";

(b) by the insertion after section 4 of the following section—

"4A Functions of Election Directorate regarding observers

(1) In this section—

"observe", in relation to any election, means, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed—

(a) observe the conduct of the polling at the election; and

(b) be present at the verification of statements of presiding officers and the counting of votes cast at the election in terms of sections 72 and 73; and

(c) bring any irregularity or apparent irregularity in the conduct of the poll or the counting of the votes to the attention of the constituency registrar.

(2) The Election Directorate shall, for the purpose of subsection (5), establish a committee, called "the Observersí Accreditation Committee", consisting of—

(a) the chairman of the Election Directorate; and

(b) the Registrar-General; and

(c) two persons nominated by the Minister; and

(d) a person nominated by the Minister responsible for foreign affairs.

(3) A decision of the Observersí Accreditation Committee shall, unless the Election Directorate amends or rescinds the decision, be deemed to be a decision of the Election Directorate.

(4) Each member of the Observersí Accreditation Committee may appoint a person as an alternate member of the Committee, and any such alternate member may act as a member during any period that a substantive member is unable to exercise his functions.

(5) The function of the Observersí Accreditation Committee shall be to accredit as observers—

(a) individuals representing foreign countries or international or regional organisations that have been invited by the Minister responsible for foreign affairs to observe any election; and

(b) individuals representing bodies in the region that exercise functions similar to those of the Commission and that have been invited by the Commission to observe any election; and

(c) eminent persons from outside Zimbabwe who have been invited by the Minister responsible for foreign affairs to observe any election; and

(d) eminent persons from within Zimbabwe who have been invited by the Minister to observe any election; and

(e) individuals representing local organisations that have been invited by the Minister to observe any election.

(6) No individual, other than an election agent, polling agent or monitor, may observe any election, or be permitted to enter and remain at any polling station or counting centre as an observer, unless such person is accredited by the Observersí Accreditation Committee before the commencement of the poll as an observer, for which purpose such individual shall—

(a) report to the Committee at the time and place notified by the Committee; and

(b) furnish the Committee with proof of the appropriate invitation referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (5); and

(c) be furnished with a copy of, or made aware of the contents of, the code of conduct prescribed in the Schedule; and

(d) pay the prescribed accreditation fee.

(7) Upon satisfaction of the requirements of subsection (6) the Observersí Accreditation Committee shall issue the individual concerned with an accreditation certificate confirming that the applicable requirements have been satisfied by that individual and specifying the period during which such individual is accredited as an observer.

(8) Every observer shall exhibit his accreditation certificate to any electoral officer who demands to see it.

(9) Not more than three observers comprising individuals invited by the authorities referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of subsection (5) shall be permitted—

(a) to enter or remain at any polling station;

(b) to be present for the counting of votes at a counting centre.";

(c) in section 6 by the repeal of the definition of "Commission";

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