Zec slams delay in enacting General Laws Amendment Bill into law

via Zec slams delay in enacting General Laws Amendment Bill into law – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 15, 2015

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has expressed its displeasure at the delay in enacting the General Laws Amendment Bill into law to pave way for some of the envisaged electoral reforms and is now apprehensive that it will not be done in time for the 2018 elections.

By Phyllis Mbanje

Speaking during a stakeholder meeting on polling station-based voter registration, Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the delay would compromise management of elections as it was within their mandate to ensure that the process was above board and there was no room for speculation.

“We are still not satisfied with the state of our laws as they relate to our mandate. The General Laws Amendment Bill is a stop-gap measure, but if it is going to take so long will there be enough time to see to it that the essential amendments are made?” she queried.

The bill was passed on May 5 this year but is yet to be enacted into law. Once it becomes law the process of aligning the electoral law to the Constitution can begin in earnest.

The ZEC chairperson said they were not demanding that the process be carried out but said their constitutional mandate was being curtailed.

She said although the Electoral Court had given them some guidelines on how they should proceed they would rather the issue had been addressed by Parliament which is the law giver.

“We recently lost to Dumiso Dabengwa and his party (Zapu) and we are not happy about that,” she said.
Meanwhile, in a bid to water down concerns over the shambolic voter registration, Zec will pilot the proposed polling station-based voter registration system in Marondera Central constituency which will curb double voting and inflation of votes for participating candidates.

This is in accordance with the Electoral Act {Chapter 2:13} which provides for the creation of voter registers that are polling station based/specific.

In preparation for the transition towards the creation of polling station-specific voters’ registers, Zec will carry out a voter registration exercise in Marondera Central where there is a forthcoming by-election to be conducted on September 19, 2015.

The exercise is meant to be a build up to the desk exercise conducted in 2014. The proposed voter registration exercise will use the 2013 voter population as its baseline and the 2013 polling stations.
Zec deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe said previously voter registration was ward-based and people could vote at any polling station within the ward.

“But under this new system the ward will be demarcated and people will be told which specific station they will vote and their names will only appear at that point,” she said.

Among the stakeholders who attended were representatives of political parties, civil society organisations and traditional leaders.

COMMENTS

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    The Ceo is inherently incompetent, this why this country is in a mess. Worse with age!