Zec in major climbdown

HARARE - The under-fire Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has set up multi-party committees to work at ensuring transparency in the processes leading up to the 2018 national polls.

About 18 political parties, coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) have been pressing Zec to take their demands on board as part of ensuring that the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections are not tainted by irregularities.

On Monday, the political parties met with Zec where they agreed to set up nine subcommittees which  will work on all contentious issues in the current electoral cycle which include voter registration and accreditation of monitors and observers.

“We agreed to constitute nine multi-party subcommittees to exercise oversight over the Zec subcommittees to ensure maximum transparency during voter registration, polling station mapping and accreditation, among other processes,” Nera legal secretary, Douglas Mwonzora told the Daily News yesterday.

Mwonzora, who is also opposition MDC secretary-general, said some of the committees constituted also include the legal and logistics sub-committees.

He also revealed that Zec had requested the parties to come up with proposals on how to deal with the alleged military element in the electoral body which has been one of the sticking issues during previous discussions.

“As the MDC, we offered to prepare and present a legal report on how to deal with the security services people who are at Zec.

“We are looking at ways of demilitarising the institution to ensure that come 2018, we will have elections that are beyond reproach

“We discussed the disenfranchisement of the Diaspora, aliens and prisoners and I think we are making very good progress, though not as quick as we would have wanted.

“Nevertheless, we believe if we continue on this trajectory, there will be tangible and positive movement,” added Mwonzora.

The development comes across as a major climbdown by Zec, which last month vowed it would not allow any political party to be directly involved in the national mapping exercise.

This was after the parties demanded that they be involved in the mapping exercise that will see voters being restricted to voting at a specific polling station in their ward in future elections.

Under Nera, the opposition political parties are demanding a raft of changes which include reconstituting the Zec secretariat with they allege is packed with Zanu PF functionaries.

The parties also want Rita Makarau to relinquish one of her posts as a way of avoiding a potential conflict of interest if elections are to be disputed and spill into the courts.

Apart from being Zec chairperson, Makarau holds a full- time job at the Judicial Services Commission where she is its secretary.

Comments (8)

We hope that those elected to the secretariate will not sell out just like in the GNU where the likes of Biti sold out and gave all the power to Zanu. I hope the Presedents will have over sight on these comittes . There should be a time frame to the conclusion of this excercise. otherwise we will have people enjoying hotel allowances to the extend of trying to go beyond the elections with the exercise . Please guys be serious . you are fighting a cunning and culculating animal. never sleep on duty

Zvakwana - 7 December 2016

These parties left out the very key things that zanu uses to to steal elections intimidation beatings and killings of pple in reserves during elections . Use of traditional leaders forcing their pple to vote for zanu . ZBC must stop being zanu media station . ZEC must make sure they conduct elections without the mentioned above if they are to be taken serious

Diibulaanyika - 7 December 2016

dibulaanyika in as much as your concerns are valid ZEC has nothing to do with intimidation ZBC etc aya atova other departments of government. Zec is fo voting chete not campaigning.Things they can campaign for are voter education

NUTTY DREADLOCK - 7 December 2016

Sounds like more and more people also want Mugabe to go which is a good thing.

Inyika - 7 December 2016

@NUTTY you are confused and better zip you beak if have nothing to say zec is there to create fair play in every elections including making sure all political parties are afforded same air time and treatment PPLE protected from killings as we all know zanu does that during elections . iF YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT BETTER SHUT UP .

Diibulaanyika - 7 December 2016

This is a total waste of money.This election is a nulity.There is not enuf money to register all for voters roll.The way state conducts its citizen population count ,should be the same way for voters registration,door to door.But my party knows it will be disaster and these so called opposition are fast asleep.They wont ask for voters roll till last day.They want cash for their families as this is proving already.

viola gwena - 8 December 2016

What does ZEC say or whoever is responsible with this story of Hungwe: ( http://nehandaradio.com/2016/12/05/zanu-pf-will-unleash-army-defend-mugabe-rule-hungwe/ ) saying ... " “Yes, we can go to war. We can hire our army…our soldiers can come in to help us. We will never allow opposition political parties to rule this country..........." - See more at: http://nehandaradio.com/2016/12/05/zanu-pf-will-unleash-army-defend-mugabe-rule-hungwe/#sthash.L4nXdAQb.dpuf His statements i believe are undermining the rights of the Masses of Zimbabwe and are in violation of Free and fair elections & the constitution too. Why then go to elections if there should be only a ZanuPF win and none other. I would like to believe that there will be many of such statements in the future from various ZanuPf People but to my surprise they get away with these such statements. PLEASE, WHO MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?

WhiteHorse - 8 December 2016

Nutty Dread is just one confused and ignorant chap.How can you separate killings,torture and abductions from ZEC? ZEC is the election body that oversees the running of an election and they are the ones who pronounce the winners and the losers so for them to come out on radio or television announcing that so and so has lost when they actually know that this person's supporters were intimidated,maimed,killed and by their opponents,usually by the assistance of security agents is the highest form of betrayal to basic fundamentals of a free and fair election.They have the right to declare the election not free and unfair and can actually call for a re run but because of the zanu pf agents who are part of the election body to expect them to do that is a snowball's chance in hell.ZEC has let down the majority on numerous occassions.One opposition party contestants in the just ended Bikita elections was bludgeoned to pulp and left for dead,but this pro zanu pf body disguising as an independant body declared the elections free and fair and announced a winner.My foot!They should have nullified the outcome if at all it was serious about conducting free and fair elections.Shame Rita and company.The people are not as naive as you think.They are watching you with abated breath.

Janana wa Bikaz - 27 January 2017

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