ZESN STATEMENT ON NATIONAL BUDGET ON KEY ELECTORAL ACTIVITIES

Press Statement

ZESN STATEMENT ON NATIONAL BUDGET ON KEY ELECTORAL ACTIVITIES

16 DECEMBER 2020 – The Zimbabwe Election Support Network is deeply concerned by the allocation of an inadequate budget to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which militates against the capacity of the Commission to administer free, fair, and credible elections thus undermining democracy. ZESN implores government to demonstrate political will by sufficiently supporting ZEC financially.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs has revealed in a report on the 2021 National Budget that ZEC was allocated $2.3 billion instead of $12.4 billion that the Commission had indicated it would need for the year 2021.

ZESN expresses dismay at ZEC’s paltry budgetary allocation which MPs said would not be adequate to enable the Commission to conduct the much awaited process of delimiting electoral boundaries ahead of the 2023 elections. Members of Parliament indicated that ZEC would need $8.6 billion for the delimitation process, yet only $1.744 billion was appropriated. In general, the delimitation of electoral boundaries is a challenging technical endeavour that is usually lengthy and costly.

Delimitation is a key electoral process with implications for electoral outcomes, including the fairness and credibility of elections. A properly conducted delimitation exercise ensures equality of voting strength, fair and adequate representation of the electorate, contiguity and compactness in the geometric shape of constituencies and, importantly in the case of Zimbabwe, that the variance in the number of voters in all constituencies falls within the +/-20% constitutional threshold.

ZESN is of the view that the move by government to leave a variance of 81% between ZEC’s proposed budget of 12.4 billion and the actual allocation of $2.3 billion further weakens democracy in the country given that, a few months ago, by-elections were indefinitely suspended on account of the COVID-19 pandemic despite the fact that in recent months many countries, including in Africa, have been holding elections under similar circumstances.

Zimbabwe stands guided by the tenets of democracy which are based on, among others, respect for the Constitution, rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedoms, good governance and regular elections, all rooted in the watershed elections of 1980 which marked a transition to independence.

There is therefore need for the government to uphold the tenets of the democracy through availing adequate resources to enable the holding of all key electoral processes in-between general elections and during general elections that should be held every five years as stipulated by the supreme law of the country.

ZESN reiterates that there is need for government and all institutions supporting democracy to create a conducive environment that ensures that the basic pillars of democracy are upheld. The Network restates its call for the holding of free, fair, peaceful, and credible elections; and extending the scope of right to vote in Zimbabwe. //ENDS

PROMOTING DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS IN ZIMBABWE
FOR COMMENTS AND FURTHER DETAILS CONTACT
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
ZESN Chairperson: +263772234891
ZESN National Director: +263 712415902
+263 (242) 791443, 798193, 791803, 250736
info@zesn.net or zesn2011@zesn.net or visit www.zesn.org.zw
Facebook: Zimbabwe-Election-Support-Network (ZESN)
Twitter: @ZESN1

ZEC’s Suspension of Electoral Activities Quarantines Democracy

08-June-2020– The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) notes with concern the the continued suspension of electoral activities by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) without consulting key electoral stakeholders. Initially, on 25 May, ZEC announced the indefinite suspension of all electoral processes. While announcing plans to resume some electoral activities, the ZEC’s Press Release dated Friday 5 June 2020 notes; “The Commission would like to remind the public that those electoral activities that require gatherings will remain suspended to avoid violating lockdown measures currently in place.”…more

ZESN Preliminary Statement on the Chegutu Ward 2 by-election

In line with its mission to promote democratic elections in Zimbabwe, ZESN observed the Chegutu Municipality Ward 2 local authority by-election held on 21 March 2020. The Chegutu Ward 2 seat fell vacant following the death of MDC Alliance councillor, Memory Banda in December 2019. The Nomination Court sat on Thursday 8 February 2020 to receive nominations of prospective candidates to fill the vacancies. At the close of nomination, two candidates; the MDC Alliance’s Machekera Rydes Tinokura and ZANU-PF’s Mutongerwa Prosper were duly nominated to stand in the by-election. more

Read More

ZESN Situational Statement on Chegutu Ward 2 Local Authority by-election

21 March 2020-Harare-The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) is observing the Ward 2 Chegutu Municipality Local Authority by-election. The Chegutu Ward 2 seat fell vacant following the death of MDC Alliance Councillor, Memory Banda in December 2019. The by-election is being held in accordance with Section 121A of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13). While ZESN acknowledges the importance of holding by-elections within the stipulated time frames, ZESN is concerned with the holding of the by-election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically local authority by-elections have not attracted queues of over 30 people at any given time during polling…more

ZESN Preliminary Statement on the Chimanimani Rural District Council Ward 16 and Mangwe Rural District Council Ward 17 By-elections

In line with its mission to promote democratic elections in Zimbabwe, ZESN observed the Chimanimani Rural District Council (RDC) Ward 16 and Mangwe RDC Ward 17 local authority by-elections. Both seats fell vacant following the death of ZANU-PF Councillors who won in the 2018 harmonised elections. The Chimanimani Ward 16 seat fell vacant following the death of Tendai Nyabaya while the Mangwe Ward 17 seat fell vacant following the death of Majahana Alfred Clement. The by-elections were held in accordance with Section 121A of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13)…more

ZESN Situational Statement on Chimanimani Rural District Council Ward 16 and Mangwe Rural District Council Ward 17 Local Authority By-elections

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) is observing the Chimanimani Rural District Council Ward 16 and Mangwe Rural District Council Ward 17 Local Authority by-elections. The Chimanimani Ward 16 Local Authority, which covers areas such as Gwindingwi, Silverstream and Duri among other villages, fell vacant following the death of ZANU-PF Councillor, Tendai Nyabaya, in December 2019. The Mangwe Ward 17 seat fell vacant following the death of ZANU-PF Councillor, Majahana Alfred Clement, in January 2020. The by-elections are being held in accordance with Section 121A of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13)…more

ZESN Situational Statement on the Harare Municipality (Kuwadzana) Ward 44 and Mwenezi Rural District Council Ward 15 Local Authority By-elections

08 February 2020 – The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) trained and deployed observers to observe polling proceedings at polling stations in Harare Municipality (Kuwadzana) Ward 44 and Ward 15 of Mwenezi Rural District Council (RDC). Observers were deployed at six out of 12 polling stations in Harare Ward 44 and six out of 11 in the Mwenezi Ward 15 RDC by-elections. ZESN also deployed observers at the Ward Collation Centres for both by-elections…more

ZESN Statement on Global Elections Day 2020

06 February 2020 –As the World commemorates Global Elections Day, ZESN reiterates its calls for the implementation of wholesome electoral reforms by the respective key stakeholders in Zimbabwe.  The Global Elections Day comes at a time when ZESN and many CSOs in Zimbabwe are advocating electoral reforms needed to enhance the credibility of Zimbabwe’s electoral processes…more