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A LOCAL independent election watchdog has commended the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (Zec’s) move to release the election roadmap, but raised the need for the electoral body to go further and adhere to the Electoral Act to ensure a credible election.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zec last week released a roadmap and timelines for the July 30 harmonised elections.
The country’s electoral body has come under the spotlight on whether it will conduct a free, fair and credible election. The MDC Alliance last week held a street march to push the Zec to implement electoral reforms guarantee free polls.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) added its voice calling on Zec to adhere to the Electoral Act and Sadc guidelines on the holding of free and fair elections.
“Zesn reiterates its calls for the Electoral Commission to fully adhere to the Electoral Act, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and international principles of election management which are independence, impartiality, integrity, transparency, efficiency, professionalism and service-mindedness,” the Zesn said.
“Section 52A (a) of the Electoral Act states that Zec should without delay provide information to all political parties, candidates and observers on where and by whom the ballot papers for the election are being printed.
“Zesn appreciates information on the dates for the publication of the number of ballot papers printed which complies with Section 52A(b) and urges the Zec to also avail information on who will print the ballot papers and the location of the printers.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has predicted a landslide for the ruling Zanu PF, has promised to ensure the country holds free and credible polls. He has also invited several international election observers once barred by his predecessor Robert Mugabe.
“In addition, it is vital for Zec to ensure that the voters’ roll is availed to all stakeholders in reasonable time to allow, for instance, electoral contestants to verify if the people who support their nomination are in the voters’ roll, as required by law.”