Concern grows over flawed Electoral Bill

via Concern grows over flawed Electoral Bill | SW Radio Africa  by Nomalanga Moyo on Friday, April 4, 2014

The Electoral Amendment Bill is a “flawed document” which parliament should not pass until proper consultations have been made, poll observer groups have said.

The Bill controversially sailed through the Senate on Thursday, despite protestations from opposition MDC-T lawmakers who had staged a walk-out the day before.

MDC-T Senator Morgan Komichi later said the walk-out was a reaction to the “speed with which the ZANU PF administration was bulldozing the Bill through the House without taking their proposals on board.

On Friday, two civil society groups described the Electoral Bill as unconstitutional and urged parliamentarians to block it until the public have been consulted.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) said it was concerned that “this important piece of legislation that will inform future elections” had been “hurried” through Senate without involving interested Zimbabweans.

“Adequate consultations with the public and other stakeholders are vital to ensure comprehensive alignment of the Bill with the new Constitution,” ZESN said in a statement.

The Election Resource Centre also noted several “deficiencies” in the Bill, which would “render it unable to positively influence a change in the architecture of electoral management in Zimbabwe”.

The two civic groups note that the Electoral Bill is vague on what constitutes voter education, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) remains answerable to the justice ministry, in violation of the constitution.

Another concern is that the Bill denies the right to vote to Diaspora-based Zimbabweans, or those in hospital or prison.

In its post-poll review conference held last month, ZEC also proposed changes to the conduct of elections in the country but these, too have been left out of the Bill.

The head of Election Resource Centre, Tawanda Chimhini, said they have launched a “Why Rush – Give Us Time” petition to try and put pressure on the justice ministry to reconsider.

“The Electoral Bill does not address the numerous challenges which were noted by various observer missions during the 2013 elections and acknowledged by ZEC.

“The Bill is weak and has unacceptable errors that betray little seriousness on the part of the drafters,” Chimhini said.

“In its current form the Bill will not take Zimbabwe forward in terms of electoral reforms and if it is passed we intend to challenge its constitutionality in court.”

Chimhini said to avoid passing into law such “flawed documents” the public should be allowed to participate and have a say in any Bill that is brought before parliament, in accordance with the constitution.

“The problem with this Bill, as with all our electoral laws, is that it weakens rather than strengthens systems and as long as these are allowed to exist, we won’t have credible or acceptable elections in this country,” Chimhini added.

He said they hoped that MPs from both sides of the political divide will show the same unity and energy in rejecting the Bill just as they have done on corruption.

The Electoral Bill is one of several other pieces of legislation that have to be aligned with the country’s new constitution which was adopted last year.

Hopes were high that the new charter, campaigned for by the three political parties in the unity government which ended last year, would usher in a new era of constitutionality in Zimbabwe.

The constitution limits the president’s stay in power. The charter also provides for security sector and media reforms and creates institutions that (in theory) are supposed to promote democracy, peace, transparency and accountability.

But there is no specified timeframe within which old laws should be aligned with the constitution, a loophole that ZANU PF is taking advantage of.

Without the called-for changes and reforms, there is real fear that ZANU PF will continue using these institutions to rig and manipulate the electoral process, just as it did in 2013.

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21 comments on “Concern grows over flawed Electoral Bill
  1. apolitical says:

    When will the opposition realize they don’t have a say in government because they do not have a majority-called democracy.
    The Diaspora do not deserve a vote – most in UK are fraudulently living on UK state benefits. Again, so long as the west interfere in democracy by funding opposition in a number of countries – called terrorism internationally, it would be dangerous to allow a diaspora vote which could be manipulated outside our borders.
    Much expense was spend thrashing out a bill already at the time of the draft constitution – no more wasted money on useless changes to legislation.

    • John Thomas says:

      ZANU is not the legitimate government of Zimbabwe

      • NBS says:

        100% correct. They are 1005 illegitimate; the Lord of justice knows that too and judgment stands at their door

    • Chidumbu says:

      @apolitical you are just a failure just like your uncle bob, admit you failed, look at the state of your country only an idiot could be proud of what you zanu b%@ches have accomplished

    • NBS says:

      Oh yeah! Its amazing what blindness do to a person. They just do NOT see the truth!

    • Don Cox says:

      “most in UK are fraudulently living on UK state benefits”

      Do you have any evidence for that statement ?

      A link to the figures, for instance ?

  2. NBS says:

    This time the nation must stand as one and say NO! No to anymore skulduggery. I pray the Lord will expose everything even to the deepest darkest plan.

  3. John Thomas says:

    Those waiting for 2018 to have a better election are wasting their time. The government needs to be pressured to go and now is the time to do it. Elections are for after ZANU is gone.

    • apolitical says:

      We had a good election already, MDC have no chance is any future election – people have seen what they do and have done.
      Just looted donor funds and any funds they could get their hands on.
      Its only the very easily conned and dim that would consider them.

    • NBS says:

      Exactly. waiting for another big rig will get us nowhere. May the Lord blow the lid of Nikuv, Mudede, ZEC, ZPF all those behind the rigging and lies. I actually know a young chap who has been used in the rigging and his wife confesses it and the intimidation and so who does Apol think he is fooling. The sword of judgment will fall. Be afraid of God. It is a terrible thing for sinners to fall into the hands of an angry God!

  4. Small axe says:

    Ha Ha Ha Ha ki ki ki Apolo you r a clown u make me laugh please continue Ha Ha Ha Ha ki ki ki

  5. Zimbali says:

    NBS, I have been praying for a very long time but I will join you in prayer. The Lord has a solution already, he is biding his time.

    • NBS says:

      Behind every great battle are the prayer warriors. It is time for Zimbabwe to move backed by prayer. The battle is the lord’s and He hates evil. Okay Zimbali that makes two of us.If you look at Romania’s history the whole overthrow of evil began with a small committed group of prayer warriors listening to God’s heart and then one day the spirit of fear was broken and the people stood chest to chest with the armed forces and refused to budge. They did not engage in violence but the stood and said enough is enough. And then those same armed forced and secret police became convicted and began to stand with an oppressed people and God moved. What happened to those Ceauscues???

  6. Small axe says:

    APOLITICAL SAY..We had a good election already, MDC have no chance is any future election – people have seen what they do and have done.
    Just looted donor funds and any funds they could get their hands on.
    Its only the very easily conned and dim that would consider them.

    OTHER REPORT SAY..Government fears that millions of dollars supposed to be remitted to Treasury could have been lost when officials it seconded to represent its interests in diamond mining companies connived to under-declare proceeds, serve as a pointer to the level of official graft that has hobbled the troubled nation’s march towards better times.

    Other countries endowed with fewer resources than Zimbabwe have made good use of their natural resources to uplift the quality of life for the majority of their people. Our God-appropriated resources should therefore imbue us with a deep sense of pride and gratitude
    .Ha Ha Ha Ha ki ki ki Apolo you r a clown u make me laugh please continue Ha Ha Ha Ha ki ki ki

    • NBS says:

      Evil will be judged. ZPF you need to repent now! “Oh Lord will You break the spirit of fear that lies over this nation as fear is not of You for You have given us not a spirit of fear but a Spirit of love, power and sound mind.”

  7. Magaiza says:

    Uyu anonzi Apolitical siyanai naye, dzinenge dzisina kuti kwesere!!!

  8. NBS says:

    Remember when things seem insurmountable God is always on the side of righteousness. let each one of us make sure we are right before God and then we go forward. When Israel was surrounded by a might enemy in 2 kings 6 and Elisha’s servant cries out what shall we do Elisha prays to god to open his servants eyes and He does. And all around him the servant sees a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha. That is what surrounds God’s true church. Pray Zimbabwe as we go into battle.

  9. supermondo says:

    if you want to win a war without guns you need information and spies.

  10. Gondobwe says:

    Short memories are a bad thing! Zanu-PF Chiefs of Staff in the Army said, “We cannot give away that which came through the barrel of a gun with a pen”. In short, elections under Zanu-PF hegemony are a mere waste of time. All opposition politicians reading this forum should understand this: Elections under Zanu-PF tutelage will never be free and fair. Peaceful mass protest is now the ONLY solution.

  11. Zindoga says:

    Protests is the only answer right nw.

  12. Isu Zvedu says:

    Apolitical, your mind is programmed se robot, good elections because your bosses are saying so, do you know what good elections constitute. bva kana makaita good elections gadzirisaika hupfumi hwenyika hwadai kuondongeka imi muchingoboaster ne good elections. chirikunetsa chii, zvese zviripo,vanhu vezimbabwe vanoshanda (tisingasanganisire nemi vana apolitical munepfungwa dzadhailutwa necorruption), maresourses hobho, because look at 2008/9 pamubatanidzwa hakuna kupera mwedzi takange taakutotenga chingwa neshuga mumashops atakanga tangojaira kuwana jik nematissue chete iwo amunoti masanctions acho achingovapo.now you are busy hatching good and effective plans to discredit tsvangirai, tsve zvekuzadzisa zvamakanyepera vanhu kuti muchavaitira kana vakuvhoterai, shame, shame, shame

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