THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) has urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to take over the mandate of inviting international election observers as part of wider electoral reforms ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
Currently, international observers are invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) said the prevailing political environment does not guarantee credible electoral processes and outcomes. It urged the government to put in place mechanisms and legal reforms to address issues of voter intimidation, violence, and hate speech, vote-buying and inability of opposition parties and candidates to freely campaign.
“Zec should be given the sole mandate to administer all election-related functions such as voter registration and inviting foreign observers — which is currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, capacity building and adequate and timely resourcing of Zec are critical components to the success of the electoral process which the government must prioritise before the 2018 harmonised elections,” part of the statement reads.
Zesn said there was need for the adoption of biometric voter registration methodologies and other electoral technologies.
“We note that the current legislation on voter registration has in the past disenfranchised a significant number of voters and therefore call for reforms to the current legislation to ensure that the legal framework allows for all eligible voters to be registered,” Zesn added.