BY BEAUTY NYUKE
THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) yesterday urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to ensure equal media coverage to political parties to promote fairness.
The election watch dog also urged traditional leaders to facilitate equitable access to communities by political parties canvassing for support during elections.
This will allow the voters access to information necessary to make informed voting decisions.
“As citizens continue to motivate each other to register to vote, ERC reminds the nation that for the people’s will to be reflected in the outcome of any election, there is a need to strengthen electoral processes which are accepted by all and sundry,” ERC said in a statement.
“In administering its constitutional mandate to oversee elections, Zec must be impartial and independent.”
Zec has been accused of failing to level the playing field by ensuring equal access by parties to the public media, while traditional leaders have been accused of blocking opposition parties access to communities, while propping up Zanu PF.
The ERC said the media plays an important role in helping citizens to hold elected officials accountable, thus access to information by voters and equal access to the electorate by parties and candidates was important.
“Traditional leaders must not further the interests of any political party or candidate or in any way participate in partisan politics,” ERC added.
The watchdog said Zec’s activities, decisions and roles must not be influenced by outside influences.
“The security services must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and subordinate to the civilian authority as established by the Constitution,” ERC added.