Elections and democracy lobby groups have blasted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of turning a deaf ear to pleas from its stakeholders and political parties saying this threatens prospects of a credible and fair election.
Speaking to 263Chat at the Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) debate and dialogue series last Friday, civil society leaders accused the elections body of doing things behind the big screen and failing to offer stakeholders what they want to ensure transparency.
Tawanda Chimhini from the Election Resource Centre Director said, “ZEC must act in an accountable manner. There is no way we can have a free and credible election if ZEC continues to do things behind the big screen. They must have a public process which can be easily accessed by the public.”
Musa Kika, a Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, (ZHRC) also shared the same sentiments saying ZEC is failing to when he outlined some of the challenges that people are facing in order to seek clarity for ZEC.
“We have challenges, Electoral Act is not aligned to the constitution, the ZEC and the electoral management board leaves us worried, we also have issues of threat regarding the military.
“We also have things that we can enforce through the courts for ZEC to observe the constitution and the electoral act itself to ensure more transparency of the vote to ensure that it is safe.voters should not be apathetic, they should encourage each other to go and vote,” he added.
Kevin Maenzanise from the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, (ZESN) said it is the duty of the electorate to make sure that their votes are secure by engaging election organizations and vote in numbers.
“It is our duty to make sure that our vote is secure, citizens must engage with organizations like ours to be educated,” said Maenzanise.
Meanwhile, ZEC has created an interface platform with political parties named Multiparty Liaison Committee.
The last multiparty liaison meeting ended in chaos after a member of the #1980 Freedom Movement, Dr Francis Danha demanded the resignation of ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba for being partisan.
ERCKevin MaenzaniseTawanda ChimhiniYouth Empowerment and Transformation TrustZESN