BY MOSES MATENGA
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has been put under pressure to avail its 2018 and 2019 books of accounts for audit by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri as stipulated by section 195 of the Constitution.
In a statement yesterday, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) demanded that Zec should come clean on how it used its financial resources.
It emerged that Zec had failed to avail the books to Chiri, sparking fears that their finances may not be in order.
Yesterday, Zec spokesperson Qhubani Moyo referred all questions to chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana, who was unreachable for comment.
“The ERC notes with dismay the failure by Zec to provide 2018 and 2019 accounts for audit to the Auditor-General,” ERC said.
“We take this opportunity to remind Zec that the principles of public administration and leadership under section 195 of the Constitution requires all institutions and agencies of government at all tiers to be: (f) accountable to Parliament (g) co-operate with each other and 196 3(c) accountable to the public for their decisions and actions. Zec is not an exception, the commission must comply with the provisions of the law and best practices.”
The ERC said the use of finances by any election management body was governed by principles of election administration, “of which transparency and accountability were key characteristics to foster trust and
“As a public body, Zec has a responsibility to open itself up to public scrutiny and to account on how it uses public funds. Parliament, equally, has the responsibility, on behalf of citizens, to hold Zec to account periodically to foster a culture of transparency, that should transcend all other functions of the public body,” ERC said.
“If the use of public funds by an election commission is shrouded in secrecy, then chances are high that the management of the elections themselves could also suffer the same fate.”
The election watchdog said Zec should fully disclose its budgets and use of public funds to foster public and stakeholder confidence in its work.
“The ERC insists that in between elections, the prioritisation of the use of funds by Zec should be targeted at enhancing the integrity of the electoral process. Zimbabwe cannot afford another disputed election.”