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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Daily Media Referendum Watch - Issue 06
    The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
    March 16, 2013

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    ZimRights to observe referendum

    News that the High Court had ordered ZEC to grant permission to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) to observe the referendum and the swearing-in of Supreme Court judge Justice Rita Makarau as chairperson of the ZEC were the highlights of the day.

    Local human rights watchdog ZimRights had gone to court challenging ZEC’s decision to bar the organization from observing the referendum on the grounds that it was facing criminal investigations.

    The court’s decision to force ZEC to grant ZimRights observer status in the referendum and the appointment of Makarau as ZEC chair - to replace Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe who recently resigned from the position reportedly due to ill-health - were contained in five of the 18 reports the electronic media carried on the administration of the referendum.

    The other 10 reports were based on updates from ZEC on their arrangements for voting in the referendum, including comments by government officials and SADC representatives praising the commission’s preparations.

    The remaining three raised doubts over ZEC’s ability to hold credible elections, citing, among others, the commission’s refusal to permit observers from “hostile” Western countries and inadequate voter awareness campaign.

    These three reports only appeared in the private radio stations.

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