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Govt Urged To Implement Electoral Reforms

Zimbabwe will go to yet another election in two years’ time although the country has predominantly remained in an election mode since the last highly disputed plebiscites were held three years ago.

In 2018, the elections were meant to usher in a new change of doing business and instil confidence in the electorate. However, all that fell at the last hurdle when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, proved, once again that it is still a contentious organisation.

Although there was a strong push to have electoral reforms in the lead up to the 2018 elections, most of them were ignored which eventually proved problematic for all the participating parties, except, of course, the ruling Zanu-PF.

Now, with just a little over two years before another election, the call for electoral reforms has been gathering steam.

Election watchdog, the Electoral Resource Centre has compiled a number of key reforms that are needed for an equal and level ground to conduct elections in Zimbabwe.

Some of them have been historical as they date back to more than two or three elections.

Below, we reproduce the various electoral reforms that the ERC is advocating for.

ZEC ADMINISTRATION

Strengthen the oversight role of ZEC to hold violators of the Electoral Act to account in real-time.

The Chief Elections Officer may institute civil proceedings against parties to enforce any provision of the Act or the Codes.

 

MEDIA REFORMS

Enforce and implement the 2018 Firinne Trust v ZBC and Ors court order!

Ensure that ZEC makes and enforces media regulations as prescribed by section 160G (2) of the Electoral Act that stipulates and ensures;

The total time to be allocated to each political party and candidate, the duration of each broadcast; and the times for the broadcasts

A fair and balanced allocation of time between each political party and independent candidate;  and facilitate free and equitable access to public broadcasting services by all political parties and independent candidates.

 

ROLE OF TRADITIONAL LEADERS IN ELECTIONS

Enforce and implement the 2018 ERC v Chief Charumbira court order

Parliament must legislate an Act of Parliament which provides for the establishment of an Integrity and Ethics Committee of Chiefs

Legislate an enforceable Electoral Code of Conduct for Chiefs and other Traditional Leaders as a schedule of the Electoral Act.

 

ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN ELECTIONS

Incorporating an Electoral Code of Conduct for members of the security sector as a schedule of the Electoral Act,

Implement and enforce the 2018 Motlanthe Commission recommendations

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