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Lupane elections debate update
Bulawayo Agenda

April 29, 2013

Hundreds of Lupane residents including human rights activists and Councilors attended the 2013 Elections Debate 3rd Series held in Lupane last Saturday (27/04/13). Representatives of MDC-T (Cllr Cain Mpofu), ZAPU (Provincial Chairperson John Dlamini) and MDC (Provincial Chairperson Jealous Siansole) debated on the timing of elections and provinces’ (Matabeleland North) readiness for free and fair elections.

Below are major highlights of the meeting:

  • The timing and holding of elections should be guided by the legal framework in line with reforms and the SADC roadmap to elections for Zimbabwe to hold credible elections.
  • All political parties said they are ready for elections as they are in the process of identifying candidates.
  • All political parties condemned the Security sector partisanship and saying the sector should serve the nation in an impartial manner.
  • The three political parties said International Observers are critical in the next elections as there is nothing to hide.
  • The appointment of Justice Rita Makarau (former Non-Constituency MP appointed by President Robert Mugabe of Zanu-PF in the 90s) as ZEC Chairperson was pointed as a setback as it further compromises ZEC’s independence as the institution is already managed by mostly retired members of the army and CIO who supposedly still take instructions from the Commander-in-Chief.
  • Electorate should chose leaders based on capabilities and potential to promote development rather than political party jackets.
  • Oppressive laws such as POSA and AIPPA should be abolished as part of reforms before elections as they infringe on freedom of speech, association, choice and assemble.
  • The three political party representatives called for peace and tolerance within the communities pointing out that communities should be aware of vote buying especially by Zanu-PF and avoid being used as perpetrators of violence.
  • Voter registration should be improved and accessible to communities and there should be mechanisms to address victims of Gukurahundi in terms of providing them with national registration documents.

Zanu-PF despite, confirming attendance eventually failed to send a representative for this debate. This week the Election Debate Series will cover Gweru, Plumtree and Nkayi where political party officials and election stakeholders are expected to further debate socio-political environment ahead of supposedly watershed elections.

Visit the Bulawayo Agenda fact sheet

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