By Farirai Machivenyika
The Electoral Amendment Bill before Parliament has taken into consideration views raised by the public and civil society and will ensure the forthcoming elections are held in a transparent manner, an official has said. Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda was speaking after meeting Messrs Mark White and Andrew Mclean from the United Kingdom Security and Justice Scoping Mission.
“As far as the upcoming elections are concerned, I indicated to them that the electoral law (Electoral Amendment Bill) which is at the Second Reading stage at the moment has incorporated the views from civil society, as well as the general public to the extent that the electoral law should ensure that the elections are free, fair, transparent and credible and to that extent the electoral law also calls for the adherence to the code of conduct by all political parties that are contesting in the upcoming elections,” Adv Mudenda said.
He said those who broke the law during the elections would be dealt with in accordance with the law and that Electoral Courts would be established across the country.
“Electoral courts will be in all the 10 provinces to deal with any complaints that may arise, including issues of violence and any disaffection that may arise on the voting process,” said Adv Mudenda.
He explained Parliament’s oversight role on the Executive and its agencies.
“The envoys are on a mission to look at how Parliament is exercising its oversight on the Executive, particularly on the legislative process, as well as ensuring that the provisions of the Constitution are complied with by the State, its organs and other agencies and how they are accountable to Parliament,” said AdvMudenda.
“We also discussed the wider implications of constitutional provisions regarding protecting national interests and national security and I advised that our understanding of national security must be broader and must be based on Chapter 4 of our Constitution which deals with human rights.
“I indicated to them that we are concerned about personal security and security of our environment, food security, as well as security to health and other social services.”