Youths march over electoral reforms

HARARE - Youths from more than 10 opposition political parties that are signatories to the National Electoral Reforms Agenda (Nera) yesterday marched in Harare before handing a petition to Parliament demanding implementation of electoral reforms.

This comes amid concerns that the electoral playing field is heavily skewed in favour of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF.

Under Nera — a pact by a grouping of political parties working together in demanding critical electoral reforms — the youths called upon Parliament, through relevant portfolio committees, to urgently call for an all stakeholders meeting.

“We call upon Parliament of Zimbabwe to urgently call for a meeting... to update the stakeholders on the progress, or lack of it, in implementing the electoral reforms enshrined in the Constitution and in line with regional and international best practise,” the petition read.

The youths argued that Parliament must play its role in supervising the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and ensure that it operates as an independent entity as prescribed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“(We) demand that the Zec secretariat be run by competent, non-partisan and proficient personnel transparently,” they said, adding that “specifically, we demand the demilitarisation and de-politicisation of Zec through the appointment of commissioners in a public and transparent manner and the removal of military personnel from positions of influence.”

They also raised concern over Zec chairperson Rita Makarau working for two conflicting organisations — the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)  as secretary and Zec.

“Note the conflict of interest created by having the JSC secretary doubling up as the chairperson of the Zec. As a result we call upon Makarau to resign as chairperson of Zec.”

The youths also demanded that Zec introduces a biometric voting system and also wants the next 2018 poll to be internationally run and supervised by the United Nations.

“(We) demand that voter registration be opened under the supervision of Zec as a matter of urgency. While also seeking clarity as so whether we are adopting Biometric voter registration or not. If so, we demand to know how it’s going to be implemented, by whom, when and how the monitoring and evaluation is going to be done. Zec must submit to Parliament a detailed action plan for 2018 elections.”

The youths further said “Zec must demonstrate to Parliament its capacity to deliver free and credible elections in terms of its budget, structures, capacity and human resources”.

“We thus demand a response to these issues within the shortest possible time from receipt of this petition.”

Comments (4)

sure Makarawu should resign without compromising , she must just go

makaruru - 27 July 2016

The next march by youths will be on religious reforms. The current religions are structured to worship a white god and territorial demons the father of lies, and not the one and only Almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth.

ADF - 27 July 2016

@ADF: You seem to be obsessed with an anti white mantra yet you are writing in English and your pocket is full of US dollars. You need cleansing yourself.

Linda Ruzvidzo -UZ - 28 July 2016

we want a online voters roll b4 2018

safa ngendlala - 29 July 2016

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