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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Ballot update: October - November 2013
Election Support Network
November 27, 2013
harmonised elections have come and gone. With them came expectations
made by the ruling party Zanu-PF for the creation of employment,
increase access to housing, rehabilitate buildings, revamp all sectors
of the economy including health and education. These promises come
against a backdrop of over 90% unemployment and more that 90 per
cent unutilised industrial capacity. The new government has a lot
of work ahead to realign the laws with the new Constitution.
Citizen awareness of the constitution is key hence the need for
all stakeholders to publicize, promote and increase knowledge of
the constitution amongst citizens.
is informed by observations from the country’s 210 constituencies
and broadly captures national political developments in Zimbabwe.
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31st of July Harmonised elections
Post the 31st July harmonised elections, observers report a
wait and see attitude that is expectant in the various constituencies.
There is an expectation for the fulfillment of the promises
made during the campaigns as provided in the Zanu-PF manifesto.
At the same time observers have reported fears of regression
to the 2008 socio- economic environment. According to observers,
political parties have formulated strategies that are need based
to lure support and in this season farm inputs and food distribution
seem to take the lead. There has not been much improvement in
terms of the social and economic fabric of the country with
the same challenges of power cuts, water cuts, poor roads and
unemployment continuing. The plight of poor citizens has been
further worsened by demolitions and threats of demolitions to
“illegal settlers.” The unsettling thing about these
demolitions is that they come after the election yet they mushroomed
in the pre-election era and the people were registered to vote
there and they in fact voted, after the vote the settlements
become “illegal”. While ZESN does not condone illegal
settlements, it is important The MDC-T has withdrawn most petitions
that challenged the election results owing to a number of factors
including the prohibitive security deposit of $10 000 and a
lack of evidence of malpractices in other instances.
In the period we noted the conviction
of Mr Morgan Komichi to 320 hours of community service. This
seemed unreasonable considering the three months he had spent
in the cells being denied bail.
celebrations for winning candidates
reported the holding of victory celebrations in the various
constituencies were Zanu-PF won elections. Speeches according
to observers in Harare South, Hurungwe West and Mutasa Central
were laced with hate speech which is quite disconcerting considering
the message of peace being preached by the Organ on National
Healing and Integration. There is need for the message of peace
and tolerance to be reinforced in Zimbabwe. The rest of the
constituencies in Mashonaland provinces, Harare and Midlands
not much activity of celebrations have taken place up to now.
In Harare South the celebrations like in some other constituencies,
were also marked by donating or supporting community projects
like potatoes growing. While in Mutasa they have been marked
by a sports gala for both the losing candidate and the winner
promising to work together for the community.
Observers also reported positive stories where
the winning Zanu-PF candidates informed their constituency
that they are an MP for everyone not just their party supporters.
This shows signs of political maturity as once voted into
office, one should cease to see the political party divide
in their constituency but see their constituency as one in
which they must serve.
||A new government
was formed after the elections and as promised the citizens
expected some deliverables even within the short space of time
that has lapsed since then. The new government has a lot of
work to do with realignment and operationalization of the existing
laws to the new constitution. Service delivery, the state of
the roads in the various constituencies have remained stagnant
and with the oncoming rain season, the citizens have expected
transformation and increased government support programmes however,
this has not yet materialised. The new government is faced with
a mammoth task of how to revive the economy, restore confidence
and lure Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and create employment.
Zanu-PF is conducting Provincial Elections. The elections have
experienced a lot of problems including factionalism and threats
of violence amid allegations voter rigging, vote buying and
other malpractices in the conduct of the elections. So far elections
have been held in Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Midlands
and media reports have indicated that these elections have been
marred by bitter power struggles. Elections are still due in
other provinces. ZESN urges political parties to promote internal
did not get a good yield as a result there are rampant food
shortages in the country which have given rise to the need for
food aid. The onset of the agricultural season and the need
for inputs has resulted in input distribution schemes. Observers
in various constituencies have reported the problems with the
distribution processes. Reports of partisan distribution of
food aid and inputs have been reported in Gokwe-Sesame, Chireya,
Chiwundura, Sanyati, Muzarabani South, Muzarabani North, Mazowe,
Bindura South, Muzvezve, Chegutu and Hurungwe West amongst others.
It is the responsibility of the government to also assist those
in need and as the previous farming seasons have been poor,
the yield have not been enough to take families through the
year. Food distribution like farming inputs as observers noted
have been distributed on party lines preferences. As Zimbabweans
on their own have not been able to grow enough food for themselves,
it is expected that aid should be equitably distributed to all
deserving beneficiaries and thus should not divide the people.
all citizens to engage with elected leaders to promote development
of the country. There is need continue to dialogue with government
on critical issues such as health, education, industry and employment
among others. ZESN urges all citizens and elected leaders to
guard the peace in the country. ZESN welcomes elected leaders
who have embraced all constituency members regardless of their
perceived political party affiliation. Elected leaders are encouraged
to be accountable to the electorate as a whole in their fulfillment
of their triple mandate of law making, oversight and development.
ZESN continues to promote democratic free
and fair elections. It is important for the government to
prioritise development in all facets. Human rights are key
and the government needs to uphold and respect human rights.
Electoral reforms are a priority especially voter registration
and cleaning up the voters roll. Laws need to be harmonised
with the new Constitution.
ZESN urges ZEC to begin working on the polling
station based voters’ roll as provided for in the Electoral
Act as amended in 2013 to ensure the completeness, accuracy
and comprehensiveness of the voters roll by 2018. the polling
station based voters roll will make the voters roll more accessible,
easy to correct, complete and accurate as units are smaller
than the ward based roll.
ZESN urges the government to uphold the rights
of citizens to shelter and decent living conditions by finding
sustainable and durable solutions to the housing issues and
not through demolition.
Visit the ZESN
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