Source: ERC welcomes Zec budgetary allocation – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 9, 2017
THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) has welcomed the $132,2 million budget allocation for next year’s elections, but bemoaned lack of a clear and sound operational plan from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).
BY STAFF REPORTER
The electoral watchdog said Zec was yet to avail clear timelines and deliverables for the elections.
“The ERC believes that allocating a budget alone is not enough if the use of the money is not planned,” ERC executive director Tawanda Chimhini said.
Presenting the 2018 National Budget on Thursday, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government would provide resources to support the general elections.
Chinamasa said the $132 million allocated for next year’s polls was in addition to the $13,7 million availed for the ongoing biometric voter registration exeercise.
International practice dictates that election operational plans are put in place at least 18 months before the election.
Chimhini urged Zec to “account for the resources based on a publicly shared operational plan”.
The think-tank and advocacy institution on elections said there was need to properly prioritise crucial qualitative aspects of the election.
“Prioritisation of crucial qualitative aspects of the election process to enhance integrity, freeness and fairness of the electoral processes for the budget to really benefit the ordinary Zimbabwean who is giving the $132, 2 million through various taxes,” Chimhini said.
Chimhini urged Treasury to process the disbursement of the funds to “Zec in a transparent manner that enhances the electoral body”.
The ERC boss said, though the proposed budget fell far short from the proposed $274 million that the election management body had requested for next year’s harmonised elections, it was a step in the right direction.
“Given previous experience where election budgets were erratic and inadequate, this development is commendable as it allows for planning, accountability and transparency, in tandem with international practice,” he said.
Chimhini said this would allow election stakeholders to track the performance of the election management body and hold it accountable.