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CHRA rejects the proposed harmonization of elections
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
February 07, 2007

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) rejects the proposed harmonization of elections by the ruling party at its 10th Annual Peoples Conference in December 2006, which is yet to be taken to parliament. Harmonization of elections is not necessarily a bad idea, however in the current prevailing political situation, harmonization is inimical to democracy. ZANU PF itself has even rejected the proposal, as it was not approved as a Conference resolution, a sign of growing discontent over the dictatorship and political hegemony within the ruling party. CHRA views the move as it is a political gimmick to protect the interest of the regime. CHRA rejects the proposed harmonization of elections for the following reasons;

  1. Harmonization will cause chaos in polling stations, as voters will have to make three electoral choices for member of the House of Assembly, Senator and the President, Mixed boundaries will add to the confusion and difficulty.
  2. Harmonization will be very costly and will exacerbate the deteriorating economic situation. It is therefore not an economic priority at the moment. Its continued debate represents the ruling party's misplaced priorities.
  3. The confusion during the casting of votes will increase the potential for rigging. The ruling party has a history of employing its own militia as elections monitors who intimidate people mostly in rural areas. This will seriously compromise the elections.
  4. Harmonization will see presidential tenure extended by two years perpetuating the continued stay in power of the illegitimate head of state, which will intensify the suffering of the generality of Zimbabweans.
  5. The ruling party must address the election fundamentals and establish an independent electoral body to supervise and manage elections in line with the SADC protocols.
  6. Harmonization is a self-serving agenda for the ruling party to harness and mobilize support for its presidential candidate.
  7. Harmonization entails amending the constitution for the 18th time within 27 years. CHRA joins other civil society organizations in demanding a holistic constitutional reform process as opposed to piecemeal amendments. We demand a people driven constitution now.
  8. Harmonization of elections in 2010 denies the constitutional right of Zimbabweans to elect a leader of their own choice in 2008. Zimbabweans will have to be forced to wait another two years to have an opportunity for change.
  9. Harmonization through parliament alone is insufficient. Unless a referendum is held, CHRA rejects the proposed harmonization of elections, as the suffering masses will not be able to express their voices.
  10. The issue of harmonization of elections is not in any way a panacea to resolving the current governance crisis.

The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) will join hands with all pro-democratic forces in the country to fight the proposed harmonization of elections. The Association will sensitize and mobilize its membership to resist harmonization as it will bring more poverty and suffering to the people of Zimbabwe through perpetuating an illegitimate regime that continues to wage war on our citizens.

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