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ZESN takes the Electoral Amendment Bill debate to Hurungwe and Kariba
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
September 05, 2011

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) conducted 3 workshops at Kadyamatamba village in Hurungwe, Karereshi on the 31st of August, Zambezi Valley (ZV) Hotel Nyamhunga in Kariba on the 1st of September and at Nhare Church of Christ in Hurungwe on the 2nd of September. The workshops were focusing on the Electoral Amendment Bill, 2011.

Attendances for the 3 workshops were as follows:

  • Hurungwe Karereshi 168 participants (86 males and 82 females)
  • Kariba Nyamhunga 56 participants (24 males and 29 females)
  • Hurungwe Nhare Church 64 participants (38 males and 26 females)

Issues raised during the workshops

There was debate on the Polling Station Based Voters' Roll. Participants argued that, it is a recipe for disaster given the prevailing political conditions in the country where the law is of little effect in punishing perpetrators of violence as has been noted in previous elections.

  • On election observation, participants argued that accreditation of observers should be the responsibility of ZEC given that it has the sole responsibility of overseeing all election related processes.

In Kariba participants acknowledged the need for the Diaspora vote others highlighted that the cost implication should also be taken into consideration given the economic state of the country.

There was also a suggestion by the Kariba participants that ZESN structures and members can also assist in collecting people's views on the proposed Electoral Amendment Bill as the Parliament-led public hearings may not be able to cover the whole country.

Some participants in Hurungwe suggested that the new constitution should include a clause to allow them to recall non-performing parliamentarians.

  • In Kariba, participants acknowledged that the of setting election dates should not be a sole responsibility of one person. They recommended that election periods should be specified in the constitution e.g. Zimbabwe shall have elections in the first quarter after every 5 years or so.
  • In conclusion at all workshops participants welcomed the Electoral Amendments but bemoaned on the timing considering that the COPAC process is still underway.

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