Mudenda dissapointed with Zec, ZHRC

Source: Mudenda dissapointed with Zec, ZHRC – Sunday News Jun 25, 2017

Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda has expressed displeasure with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, saying both organisations were undermining the Parliament of Zimbabwe, by failing to attend or represent themselves effectively at crucial electoral meetings.

Adv Mudenda said this yesterday, during a two-day stakeholders’ dialogue on the election resource centre petition to Parliament in Bulawayo, where he cited Zec and ZHRC chairpersons, Justice Rita Makarau and Mr Elasto Mugwadi, as those that were not keen on addressing essential issues, with regards to a petition to the Parliament of Zimbabwe from the Electoral Resource Centre regarding the alignment of electoral laws to the constitution of Zimbabwe.

“Their failure to attend such meetings shows that they are not concerned with addressing key issues of the country and are undermining the Parliament,” he said.

Adv Mudenda said during his address that the petition was not misdirected in terms of the country’s constitution.

“Section 149 (1) of our constitution provides as follows: ‘Every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation.
“My pointed question is why has it taken such a long time for civil society to petition Parliament on electoral law reforms, when our constitution was promulgated four years ago? Why 12 months before the next harmonised general elections?

Electoral laws are key to our practice of good governance, which is predicted on multi-party democratic political system for that reason, any reform to our electoral laws must have legal credence born out of a timeous due process,” said Adv Mudenda.

He said the country through key organisations should not advocate for rushed legal reforms.

“In future, where society strongly believes that certain laws, which are in currency impinge upon the best practices, which must obtain in our electoral processes and need reform, the interventions should occur within ample time before the proceeding general elections. In this regard, I am persuaded to call upon this dialogue to ensure that whatever amendments we envisage in our electoral reforms, they must advance a democratic space of political vested interests of fair, free and transparent elections, said Adv Mudenda.

He went on to say that Zimbabweans were masters their own political destiny, engineered by patriotism.

“Essentially the political barometer for any plausible electoral law reform must strictly adhere to the constitutional promptings of respecting whole heartedly the political rights of Zimbabweans as enshrined in the constitution,” said Adv Mudenda referring to Section 67 of the constitution of Zimbabwe.

Furthermore he said in regard to the mentioned section that all political rights should be dictated by the constitution.

“Political Rights should dictate the direction and content of our envisaged electoral reforms that must be equally anchored on the principles of a robust electoral system as contemplated by section 155 of our constitution,” said Adv Mudenda, added that the Parliament of Zimbabwe is committed to ensuring that the electoral processes and relevant laws speak to democratic principles.

The meeting continues today, where traditional leaders and the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services express views on the petition on media coverage during elections.