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Electoral Amendment Bill - ZESN public meeting
Election Support Network
September 01, 2011
Election Support Network yesterday, 30 August held a public meeting
at the New Ambassador Hotel in Harare from 5pm to 7pm. The meeting
critically analyzed the contents of the Bill.
Mangongera moderated the meeting with Hon. Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T)
and Mr. Gideon Mandaza (MDC), a ZESN representative being the panelists.
Other invited speakers such as the Zanu Pf representative could
not make it due to other commitments. The meeting was well attended
by over 100 members of the public, CSO representatives and political
party activists. A number of pertinent issues were raised during
the lively discussions. Below are some of the issues an d concerns
raised during the meeting:
There was a
call to enhance the independence of ZEC. MDC T representative emphasized
that the Commission is a critical institution in ensuring the realisation
of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. He concurred with the ZESN
presentation which had recommended that ZEC draw its financial resources
from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and that it must be in control
of its own budget as well as report to parliament.
The issue of
the voter's roll was raised and questions were asked as to the state
of the current voters' roll and the impact it will have in the next
election. The need to have the voters' roll cleaned up was emphasized
as vital before fresh polls are held.
there were also concerns on the security of the voter regarding
the polling station based voters' roll given the political dimensions
of the country were violence is still rife in some areas and political
tolerance is almost non-existent. It was also noted that the polling
station based voters' roll would be ideal in peaceful environments
and that given the current situation in Zimbabwe it would cause
of the vote
of the vote also generated some discussion with participants and
presenters alike highlighting that undue delay in announcing election
results leads to speculation and the likelihood of election rigging.
There was a call for swift announcement of the results to avoid
speculation and to increase the credibility of the electoral process.
It was also highlighted that provisions relating to announcement
of results should encompass all elections, not only Presidential
elections as cast in the Bill.
It was noted
that the issue of special voting while welcome, remains opaque and
requires sufficient mechanisms to ensure the ability of security
forces to vote freely, removing the potential of any undue influence
from high ranking officers on polling day.
to be made for the inclusion of citizens in the Diaspora as they
are an integral cog in the country's socio-economic wheel.
The issue of
security sector reform which has caused a lot of debate in recent
times generated a lot of debate as well. Participants called for
the removal of bias and partisanship in the country's security sector
while also calling for measures to ensure that those in the force
must abide by their roles and not be allowed to utter political
statements that may cause harm to other political parties and their
oversaw a healthy exchange of ideas and thoughts on the Electoral
Amendment Bill. ZESN was also encouraged by the overwhelming attendance
and looks forward to continuing the Electoral Amendment Bill debate
to all provinces in Zimbabwe.
Visit the ZESN
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