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Zimbabwe Election Watch - March 2012
April 23, 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 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.

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 No
2.1.2 Freedom of association
  • The trials for Paul Siwela, John Gazi and Charles Thomas, who are being charged with treason for belonging to Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) which is calling for a separate state of Mthwakazi from Zimbabwe, began on 19 March. The three were arrested early last year for allegedly distributing pamphlets calling for a separation of Matabeleland
  • A peace rally organised by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) was banned by police in Lupane, Matabeleland North province
  • Public Order and Security Act, 2002, amended 2007

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