via Electoral Amendment Bill sails through without public input May 29, 2014 in NewsDay by Veneranda Langa
THE Electoral Amendment Bill sailed through the National Assembly yesterday without amendment after Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa quashed all public views brought to the House by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
Mnangagwa though said his ministry had no objection in Parliament conducting public hearings before Bills were passed, but suggested that Parliament should explore other means of collecting views such as using their Website.
He also suggested that it was imperative for Bills to be translated into indigenous languages and that Parliament should consider introducing a department of translators to do the job.
While responding to suggestions by the public and the committee chaired by Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T), Mnangagwa said voter registration would remain constituency-based and proof of residence was essential in voter registration to enable the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to strategically place polling stations and avert electoral fraud and double voting.
“Introduction of electronic voting is perceived as an infallible system, but what you are crying for is a system that can be hacked into, for example, in Kenya the system failed,” Mnangagwa said.
“To say that civil servants who are affiliated to a political party should not serve in the electoral process (Zec) is against the Constitution which says there should be freedom of association and we cannot deprive them of the right to affiliate to a political party of their choice, and it is not an offence for civil servants to belong to a political party – but it is an offence if civil servants act in a partisan manner.”