One of the Zimbabwean team currently observing the United States of America (USA) mid-term elections has called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to adopt modern and efficient methods of voting to curb election malpractices and vote manipulation.
Solomon Bobosibunu from the Elections Resource Centre (ERC) told 263Chat that the time to start preparing for the next cycle of elections is now if the country is to avoid a recurrence of electoral fraud.
“I just witnessed an expanded opportunity for citizens to exercise their right to vote. The system reinforces ideal of a democratic society which follows the spirit of the society agreed statutes. Zimbabwe of cause can take some lessons from there,” he noted.
He said the electoral management body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission needs to get back the confidence of the electorate through respecting the constitution.
” As Zimbabweans, we need to have enough confidence in our electoral process staff and that confidence must be inspired by how we perceive them to be neutral and capable of delivering the will of the people as per the Constitution,” said Bobosibunu.
Zimbabwe has since 2000 held disputed elections marred by violence and manipulation of the process by the ruling Zanu PF.
Bobosibunu who has observed a number of elections in Africa said there is a great need to pay attention to vulnerable groups who find it difficult to use the systems in place.
He said ZEC and the government need to ensure that there are proper facilities that make it easier for vulnerable groups or people with special needs to cast their votes.
“I would quickly dwell on vulnerable or special groups- these have been given an opportunity to partake in their government through such facilities as “Carbster Voting” where a wheelchair-bound, an elderly, those in clutches and those sick and cant disembark from a vehicle can request an electoral/poll worker to come outside and facilitate their voting.
“The process here allows for Early Voting, Absentee voting these are all processes meant to ensure that citizens exercise their democratic right to vote. It is important that Zimbabwe moves in this direction as we prepare for the next cycle of elections. Zimbabwe is our only country thus no matter your location the right to elect a government must be observed,” said Bobosibunu.