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Former Cabinet Minister Raises Concerns Over ZEC’s Readiness for Elections

Self-exiled former Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has voiced concerns over the readiness and capacity of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to conduct a free, fair, and credible election.

Posting on Twitter, Professor Moyo highlighted the incapacitation of the electoral body itself, emphasizing the need for a credible voters roll as the foundation of any democratic election.

“The election proclamation has come not only when journalists at the country’s major sections of the mainstream media – on whom the public depends for information on elections – have declared themselves to be incapacitated, but it has also come when @ZECzim – the constitutional body responsible for conducting elections – is itself clearly incapacitated,” said Prof. Moyo

Professor Moyo drew attention to the deep divisions within ZEC following a disputed delimitation exercise.

 “It is common cause that the disputed delimitation exercise sharply divided and incapacitated ZEC as seven Commissioners – not a small number – went rogue and disassociated themselves from the delimitation exercise and report, with some even challenging it in court.

“Since then, there’s no evidence that the ZEC divisions have disappeared or that they have been satisfactorily if at all addressed. Also, there is no evidence that the Commission is functioning properly or effectively, let alone efficiently, as a corporate entity which is a chapter 12 constitutional institution. ZEC’s functions and communications have become palpably dysfunctional, and are clearly not operating the way they should or they used to,” said the former Minister

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Prof. Moyo points out a recent statement issued by ZEC on May 27, 2023, regarding challenges in the ongoing voter registration inspection.

While ZEC did not disclose the specific challenges it faced, Prof. Moyo argues that the statement clearly demonstrates the electoral body’s incapacity and unpreparedness to smoothly conduct the forthcoming general election.

“In fact, ZEC is not ready. Yet the first thing that must be in order before any general election is the institutional, organisational and technical readiness of the electoral body. The capacity of the electoral body must not be in question.  And the first thing that the electoral body must have ready ahead of a general election is the voters roll. In the study of electoral politics and practice, an election is a voter roll,” he said

He contends that without a credible and audited voters roll, it is impossible to have a free, fair, transparent, and lawful election, as required by the constitution.

Prof. Moyo concludes by stating that a credible voters roll, audited by the voters themselves, is the cornerstone of a free and fair election in a constitutional democracy.

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