'Voter registration must be transparent'

HARARE - Mozambique Electoral Commission president Joao Leopoldo da Costa believes Zimbabwe has the potential to hold credible, free and fair elections this year if the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) works to get the confidence of all stakeholders.

Presenting a paper on elections and conflict at a Harare workshop organised by Zec yesterday, da Costa said there was need for the country’s electoral body to ensure that all parties with an interest in the election understood the electoral process by engaging them at every stage.

“Free and fair elections are a possibility in Zimbabwe as long as political parties, national and international observers as well as the media have a clear understanding of the process,” da Costa said.

“It is important that the electoral body is trusted and its processes are clear and transparent.”

Citing his experiences with elections in Mozambique, da Costa said while it would always be difficult as there are always both inside and outside influences, the Zec chairperson should strive to ensure internal coherence in the commission.

“The chairperson has a key role to play to bring about internal coherence for there are always opposing views,” he said.

“Your role is not to become a commissioner of a political party and if something is wrong with the election it has to be the laws of the country which Parliament must deal with. That is how we have managed to deal with opposing views in Mozambique, to create synergies between the different points of view and learn to wash dirty dishes at home not in the media.

“Registration of voters should be as transparent as possible taking cognisance of the demographic dynamics at play and the best way to build democracy is to be completely impartial,” da Costa said. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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