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Senate Elections Results & Index of articles
statement for the Senate elections and Gutu North Parliamentary
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
November 25, 2005
Zimbabwe Election Support Network, a coalition of 35 non-governmental
organisations, will be observing the Senate elections in 17 out
of the 31 of the 50 contested senatorial constituencies as well
the Gutu North constituency by-election. The ill timing of the election,
which comes barely eight months after the March parliamentary elections,
has made it difficult for adequate preparations to be made and hence
ZESN will conduct limited observation of the election. ZESN will
therefore deploy 42 observers who will conduct mobile observation
in the designated constituencies.
to the prevailing economic meltdown and the political crisis in
the country, the senate election is unlikely to arouse the electorate’s
interest and will further strain the country’s ailing economy. The
huge costs involved in running and managing elections as well as
the salaries and other benefits that will accrue to the senators
will further worsen the economic burden.
untimely scheduling of the election has led to early closure of
schools that resulted in the disruption of classes and major examinations
such as the ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Advanced’ levels. ZESN gravely notes
that the government has prioritised these elections ahead of critical
basic rights such as health amid reports that major referral hospitals
such as the Harare hospital are threatened with closure due to critical
shortages in medication, equipment and human resources. Coupled
with this pending crisis, the persistent shortages of fuel and basic
commodities will have a negative impact, not only on the voters,
but also on election observation, monitoring and general logistical
support services necessary for the efficient running of elections.
ZESN gravely notes that this election diverts attention from the
real economic and developmental issues affecting the country.
notes that there is general lack of interest in the pending election
as indicated by the widespread ignorance and lack of understanding
on the role of a senate in a democracy and will most likely result
in massive voter apathy.
expresses its grave concern that the government did not seriously
consider all contentious issues that were raised by ZESN and other
civic organisations on the state of preparedness of the nation to
hold an election of such magnitude at this time. As a result, it
is not surprising that the election will be characterized by an
insignificant presence of both regional and international observers.
ZESN is disturbed by the shambolic state of the voters’ roll, the
loss of entitlement to vote through the Constitutional Amendment
(No 17) Act, as well as the massive urban clean up exercise, dubbed
Operation Murambatsvina, which will disenfranchise thousands of
voters. ZESN is also concerned that the delimitation exercise of
the senatorial constituencies was not carried out in a transparent
re-affirms its position that the senators should have been elected
under the proportional representation system using the 2005 March
Parliamentary election results. Furthermore, the network is disturbed
that no attempts have been made to make provisions for the 50% political
representation of women as clearly shown by the current list of
candidates which is a far cry from the previous 30% quota as advocated
for under the SADC protocol on participation of women.
view of the challenges, disputes and other issues that have characterized
previous elections and the issues raised by numerous stakeholders
on the Constitutional Amendment (No 17) Act, ZESN reiterates its
call for the overhaul of the country’s electoral system and supports
the call for a new and people driven constitution.
hopes that the prevailing peaceful environment shall continue to
prevail during and after the elections.
Visit the ZESN
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