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Civic society statement on the impending referendum and elections
Election Support Network
October 30, 2010
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Election Support Network the leading independent network on elections
in Zimbabwe convened a conference in Vumba - Leopard Rock
Hotel which brought together various organisations and partners
working on elections to deliberate on electoral issues in light
of the possible referendum on the new constitution and elections
was held under the theme: Enhancing Mutual Cooperation and Interaction
on election Related activities amongst CSOs.
attended the conference and deliberated on Zimbabwe's preparedness
for a referendum and elections in which they noted that the environment
was not conducive for holding democratic elections particularly
considering the following;
- The political
environment remains highly volatile, uncertain, and tense. The
polarized environment-does not favor holding of elections as violence
would most likely erupt.
- The GNU
has not repealed repressive legislation such as the Public
Order Security Act (POSA), the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the
- These Acts
have restricted people's civil liberties and freedoms of
expression and association and they are inimical to the holding
of free and fair elections.
and infrastructure that support violence such as the Youth militia,
war veterans and a partisan security force remain unreformed and
therefore a threat to democratic elections
- The safety
of human rights defenders and activists remains an issue of concern
as this curtails the oversight function of civic society.
organisations represented therefore demanded the following;
- A total end
and denunciation of politically related violence and prosecution
of the perpetrators of all forms of political violence
- That SADC
ensures a non violent, free and fair election that respects the
will of the people of Zimbabwe.
- That the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) be capacitated and resourced
to improve its ability to manage elections efficiently and effectively.
- That there
is need for complete overhaul and restructuring of ZEC secretariat
with a view to reform the institution into a professional body
that is non-partisan.
- That ZEC
be in charge of all electoral processes including voter registration
and control, compile and update of voters' rolls.
- That the
ZEC be a truly independent electoral body that is accountable.
- That there
is need to do an overhaul review of the voters' roll before
the next elections
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