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ERC welcomes new ZEC Chairperson, urges her to tackle electoral reform head on

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) welcomes Justice Priscilla Chigumba as the new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Justice Chigumba was appointed as ZEC Chairperson on Thursday 1 February 2018 and subsequently sworn in by President Mnangagwa on 2 February 2018. This followed the resignation of Justice Makarau in December 2017 under unclear circumstances.

With less than 6 months to the next harmonized elections, the Chairperson is faced with a huge task to ensure the delivery of free, fair and credible elections as promised by President Mnangagwa and his government.

The impending elections present a possible turning point in Zimbabwe’s political trajectory. While every election is a watershed moment in a country’s history, this particular election comes in the wake of extensive calls for electoral reforms, chief among them independence of ZEC, right to vote, electoral disputes mechanisms, deterrence of election related violence and intimidation.

International standards dictate that every Election Management Body ensures the legitimacy and credibility of the processes for which it is responsible and this can be made possible by adhering to fundamental guiding principles which include; independence, impartiality, integrity, transparency, efficiency, professionalism and service-mindedness.

It is against this background that ERC urges Justice Chigumba and the entire ZEC to:
1. Ensure inclusivity and transparency through sincere stakeholder consultation
2. Steer clear of political undue influence and manipulation
3. Assert pro-activeness in administration of elections and towards electoral reform
4. Immediately make public an operational plan for the 2018 harmonised elections

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