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Public hearings on Electoral Amendment Bill finally approved
Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust
October 10, 2011

Parliament has finally cleared the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs to conduct public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill (H.B. 3 - 2011) after some procrastination following disruptions of public hearings on the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill in July this year. The committee will be conducting country-wide public hearings on the Bill starting from 17 – 24 October 2011.

Public hearings provide a platform to members of the public to express their views on draft legislation and government policies. The Committee will capture public views in their report which will be presented at the second reading stage of the Bill in the house of Assembly. Hence public participation in these public hearings is very crucial because it enhances the quality of legislation passed by parliament.

The Electoral Amendment Bill is a result of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiations towards an election roadmap. Broadly speaking, it seeks to address electoral challenges that have caused disputes in the previous elections. Some of the major changes in the Bill are as follows:

  • The Bill will repeal the ZEC Act (Cap 2:12) and incorporate its provisions into the Electoral Act (Cap 2:13)
  • Will base voting at the polling station level: voters will vote at their nearest polling station rather than at any polling station in their constituency
  • Will ensure the availability of electronic voters rolls in analysable format
  • Will restrict postal voting to those outside Zimbabwe on Government busines
  • Electoral officers & security sector personnel away from constituencies will cast their votes in advance
  • To introduce greater transparency in the counting & collation of votes at all levels
  • To introduce mechanisms for the prevention of political violence & intimidation
  • Will extend the jurisdiction of the Electoral Court
  • Will ensure the speedy announcement of presidential election results

Dates and venues for the public hearings are given below;

17 October 2011 10:00 hrs Mbuya Nehanda Hall Marondera
  14:00 hrs Headlands Hall Headlands
8 October 2011 10:00 hrs Mutasa Rural District Council, DC Centre Mutasa
  16:00 hrs Beit Hall, Sakubva Mutare
19 October 20111 12:00 hrs Nyika Growth Point Masvingo
  16:00 hrs Mucheke Hall, Masvingo Masvingo
20 October 2011 12.30 hrs Plumtree Town Council Hall Plumtree
21 October 12.00 hrs Lupane Community Hall Lupane
  17:00 hrs Small City Hall, Bulawayo Bulawayo

Those who are not able to attend the public hearings, are free to send their written submissions to:-

The Clerk of Parliament

ATT: Portfolio Committee of Justice, Legal, Constitutional & Parliamentary Affairs
P. O. Box CY 298

Should you require further details, please contact the Committee Clerk, Mr. Shepherd Manhivi on telephone No. (04) 700181-9, 252963-50 ext 2164.

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