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Zimbabwe Election Watch - August 2011
September 06, 2011

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Measuring the Zimbabwean electoral environment according to the SADC Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections

On the 17th of August 2004, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders adopted the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. As a member of SADC, Zimbabwe was a signatory to these benchmark principles, and therefore it is entirely fitting that Zimbabwe's performance in relation to the future elections be measured against these principles and guidelines.

Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa's brief overview of Zimbabwe's electoral system.

SADC principles for conducting democratic elections:

Article: 2.1.1 Full participation of citizens in the political process

Compliant: No

Divergence/Obstructive Legislation:

  • A report by Research and Advocacy Unit revealed that 52% of women in Zimbabwe stated they were victims of political violence in form of rape, beating and violent sexual assault as a result of their vote
  • Section 39B of the EAB provides that a voter will be removed from the roll if he/she been absent from his/her constituency for a period of 12 months. This provision risks disenfranchising a significant proportion of legitimate registered voters living outside their constituencies
  • Citizenship of Zimbabwe Amendment Act, 2003
  • Guardianship of Minors Act, 1961
  • Broadcasting Services Act, 2001

Article 2.1.2 Freedom of association

Compliant: No

Divergence/Obstructive Legislation

  • MDC-T MP for Zaka West, Festus Dumbu, and the party's Triangle ward 28 party secretary, Tawanda Chiriga Imbayago, were detained for three hours for organising a funeral procession. The two were charged under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) for leading the funeral procession for a daughter of a party member
  • War veteran Jabulani Sibanda has been allegedly forcing villagers in Masvingo's rural areas to attend rallies and, threatening to victimize anyone who does not vote for Robert Mugabe in elections
  • Public Order and Security Act, 2002, amended 2007

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