ZESN renews call for electoral reforms  

Source: ZESN renews call for electoral reforms  – #Asakhe – CITE

As Zimbabwe celebrates its 44th Independence Day, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has reiterated its call for comprehensive and timely strengthening of electoral processes.

ZESN emphasised the need to align electoral laws with the constitution fully.

They also advocated for strengthening the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) capacity and accountability to ensure effective and transparent electoral processes.

ZESN highlighted the lack of significant electoral reforms in the 2023 Harmonised Elections as a key reason for their renewed call.

“This call comes against the backdrop of the 2023 Harmonised Elections, which were conducted without significant electoral reforms,” they said.

“Although the Zimbabwean government made amendments to the Electoral Act through the Electoral Amendment Bill in 2022, such as removing the driver’s license as proof of identity, ZESN believes these changes primarily addressed nominal and administrative reforms, overlooking crucial reforms essential for transparent and credible elections,” ZESN said.

They said the substantive electoral reforms, which stakeholders had been advocating for, were omitted from the amendments to the Electoral Act.

Meanwhile, the Election Support Network said Zimbabwe’s founding tenets are rooted in respect for the Constitution, the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedoms, diverse cultural, religious and traditional values, gender equality, good governance and regular elections, stemming from the election results of 1980 that led to the transition to Independence.

“Despite the country conducting regular elections every five years, ZESN emphasizes the need for the government and political parties to establish an environment conducive to upholding the basic tenets of democracy. This includes promoting a multi-party democratic political system; conducting credible elections; enhancing the rights of all political parties and citizens; and promoting transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness,” they said.

ZESN also urged elected leaders to enhance accountability mechanisms to citizens as part of efforts to uphold the essence of good governance and democratic principles.