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Zimbabwe Election Watch - February 2012
March 29, 2012

View article on the Idasa website

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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 Commu-nity (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.

The Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa presents a brief overview of Zimbabwe's electoral system on their website.

SADC principles for conducting democratic elections:

  Divergence/Obstructive Legislation Compliant
2.1.1 Full participation of citizens in the political process
  • Proposed amendments to the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) were referred back to the lower house after Zanu PF senators blocked them, referring to Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa's contention that the Bill should not be further debated because POSA is being considered by the GPA party principals
  • Citizenship of Zimbabwe Amendment Act, 2003
  • Guardianship of Minors Act, 1961
  • Broadcasting Services Act, 2001
2.1.2 Freedom of association
  • Provincial and district MDC-T officials were arrested for attending a party workshop in Gwanda. Prosecutors were 'too scared' to handle the case because they feared co-Home Affairs Minister and local MP Kembo Mohadi
  • Senior officials within Zanu PF forced several churches and all businesses in Biriri district of Chimanimani West, Manicaland to shut down and forced everyone in the area to attend a political rally they had organized
  • Residents in Mutare were barred by the police from protesting against the Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo's unilateral suspension of Mayor Brian James
  • Police barred Tsvangirai's lecturer series despite initially giving the organisers permission to proceed with the public meeting to discuss the global financial crisis and implications for Zimbabwe
  • Public Order and Security Act, 2002, amended 2007

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