The Election Resource Centre (ERC) says it welcomes an initiative by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to engage with stakeholders ahead of the 2018 Harmonised Elections.
“It is commendable that ZEC has involved Civil Society Organisations and political parties as key stakeholders in electoral processes. However, as the ZEC rolls out its engagement plan, it is recommended to ensure equality, sharing of information on time, sincerity in conversation and inclusion of the broader public,” said ERC in a statement.
The election monitoring body said it is launching a public assessment of ZEC performance in the form of a Report Card which is based on international principles guiding the administration of electoral processes.
“These principles are independence, transparency, efficiency, impartiality, integrity, professionalism and service mindedness. Adhering to these and other principles guiding the conduct of Election Management Bodies (EMB) will go a long way in ensuring credibility of electoral processes in Zimbabwe,” said ERC.
According to ERC, ZEC must immediately consider making concrete steps to push for alignment of the Electoral Act with the Constitution of Zimbabwe as this will not only enable ZEC to constitutionally undertake its mandate but will allow for credible and inclusive electoral processes.
ERC called on the coutry’s governing body, ZEC to act in an independent manner without interference from political players.
The ERC reiteratesits calls that ZEC must conduct themselves in a non-partisan, professional and independent manner and avail themselves for public scrutiny.
ERC says it will continue emphasizing the importance of public involvement in legislative and other processes as it boosts confidence in electoral processes.
Last year, ERC and 14 other civil society organisations successfully filed a petition to Parliament, urging the legislature’s intervention in the alignment of the Electoral Act with the Constitution of Zimbabwe on the basis of Section 141 of the Constitution. However, to date, no progress has been registered regarding the petition and follow up communication has also been ignored by Parliament, which has proceeded to conduct at least five Public Hearings, one on a petition that came afterwards.