Zimbabwe: A Culture Of Electoral Fraud, A Paper Presented By ZESN At The Zambia SADC Summit 13-14 August 2007.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the holding of periodic, free and fair elections form part of the basic tenets of democratic practices and good governance. Our participation in the electoral processes, as civic bodies should therefore be looked at as a human right as well as a commitment to a calling that, as civil society, we should heed to. This summit comes at a time when Zimbabwe is undergoing a lot of challenges, political, social and economic, but most importantly, at a time when the country is preparing for yet another major election-the harmonised presidential, parliamentary and senatorial elections. Given such a background, it is important that I give you an update on what is going on in the country in view of the forthcoming elections. It is my wish that the summit would, after this presentation, come up with recommendations, suggestions and general advice on how best the civil society would ensure their effective participation in the electoral process. Let me begin by going historical….. : more

Amendment 18 Silent On Many Critical Issues

WHILE there is the provision in Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill 2007 that, for the first time in the history of constituency delimitation in the country, parliament would be presented with the preliminary report for consideration, we have noted, with interest, that the Bill is quite inexplicit on various issues that pertain to the delimitation exercise.

Zimbabwe Needs An Electoral System Capable Of Healing Political Wounds

Judging from past events, the Zimbabwe political landscape is a minefield that has generated acrimonious relations between the two major political parties in Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Pre-election violence, accusations and counter-accusations of electoral fraud and litigations have characterised the elections in Zimbabwe since 2000. Such a political climate calls for an electoral process capable of healing the wounds resultant of the political tension obtaining in the country since the dawning of the new millennium….. : more

Even free and fair elections need to be monitored

Long-term election monitoring refers to the systematic observation over a period of time prior to, and after an election process, to assess different aspects of the electoral process in order to provide an independent evaluation of its fairness. This process enables election observer groups to make an objective assessment of the environment under which the elections are held….. : more

ZEC Must Protect People’s Rights To Enrol And Vote

THE on-going voter registration exercise should, ideally, be the first step towards ensuring popular participation in governance issues by all citizens who are 18 years and above. When implemented transparently and with wide consultation, the exercise should form the basis on which a country can build or consolidate its mutation into a full democracy. This therefore, requires that the exercise of registering new voters and updating of information on those already registered be a transparent, thorough and democratic endeavour absolved from the pitfalls of negligent workmanship, electoral chicanery or any cosmetic and superficial “renovations” that seek to portray the system as normal when, in fact, it is not. …. : more

Sierra Leone Elections An Example Of The Elections We Want

The recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone on 11 August 2007 where the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), under the auspices of the African Union (AU) and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) send some observers, were an eye opener and a living testimony of how other African countries have evolved democratically. Most importantly, the Sierra Leone elections exhibited the gateway to electoral credibility in a country whose previous elections were littered with irregularities. This was Sierra Leone’s first post conflict election managed by a local electoral management body after the 2002 which was managed by the United Nations….. : more

Electoral Systems Should Ensure Women Get Fair Representation

Fundamental to understanding the repression, exclusion and general oppression of women is the need to understand how systems the world over, political, social and economic, have contributed to the subjugation of women. And any form of movement, feminist or otherwise, that seeks to fully subvert the subservient position that women find themselves in, has to initially deal with the idea of grounding understanding of this oppression in theory and practice. It is in light of this that electoral systems have to be choreographed in a manner that ensures women get fair representation….. : more