Zec, opposition parties meet

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and opposition parties who have been haggling over electoral reforms are meeting in the Inyanga resort town in a bid to find common ground over unresolved electoral issues.

This comes as the opposition says it has gathered “overwhelming information” that the Commission wants to disenfranchise voters in their urban strongholds by increasing voter registration points in the rural areas.

Election experts from the Sadc are expected to be part of the workshop where opposition parties have been given a slot to make their submissions.

The meeting comes as opposition political parties have set conditions for the implementation of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and the reduction of the “prohibitive price” for acquiring a hard copy of the voters’ roll.

The opposition parties coalescing under the banner National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) say they are being asked by the Zec to fork out $150 000 to access a hard copy of the voters’ roll.

“The purpose of the workshop is to discuss electoral disputes, prevention and resolution in Zimbabwe,” MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said on Thursday.

“Our thrust is that the Zimbabwean elections are now an international problem as they involve contravention of various international conventions.  They are now a serious problem involving the wilful breach of the Constitution by government,” he said.

Mwonzora added: “At local level they are now a political economic and social problem.  It is therefore impossible for Zimbabwe to resolve the problem of unfree and unfair elections without the involvement of the international community. But Zimbabweans have to unite in the fight for electoral reform. This is the time to unite.”

Other demands Nera is making include that the BVR kits be used to enable Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora to register to vote.

Nera has also challenged the national election body to ensure that political parties have voter registration agents at every voting centre.

Comments (2)

The opposition is doing a good job. However, its approach is too urban centered to an extent that they are forgetting the very constituency that is denying them the chance to dislodge ZANU PF. The registration process in rural areas is centered on the already established ZANU pillars, i.e chiefs, headmen, councillors and MPs. It is with no doubt that opposition elements will find it difficult to obtain proof of residence from these ZANU elements. ZANU, on the other hand, will simply send one person with a full list of their members for approval and then register at ease. The distance to get to the headmen or other authorized officials is a deterrent factor. Therefore, why not using documents like the birth certificate that bear the village name, dipping cards, or even letters from local schools. Village heads, though they have been made branch chairmen for ZANU, can also help ease the distance factor. The main problem with the opposition is that the most influential leaders have sought urban seats that are relatively easy to win and therefore they have no more thoughts for rural constituencies. Yet those rural areas are the most crucial as they carry the majority of voters and that's where ZANU banks on. COME ON OPPOSITION strategists!!!!!!!!!

Sinyoro - 20 May 2017

When is the meeting going to be held please.

pmk - 21 May 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.