Questions for about ZESN

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) is a coalition of 36 non-governmental organisations. It was formed in 2000 to co-ordinate activities pertaining to elections. The major focus of the Network is to promote democratic processes in general and free and fair elections in particular.

It was also established to standardise the NGOs election related activities and methodology as well as to ensure wider geographical coverage and co-ordination of activities. The broad aim of the Network is therefore to enhance the election process in Zimbabwe in order to promote democracy and good governance in general as well as free and fair elections in particular whilst adhering to internationally acceptable standards.

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ZESN’s vision is to promote the establishment and upholding of a democratic electoral environment and processes.

The mission of the organisation is to promote democratic elections in Zimbabwe.

The overall objectives that ZESN pursues are:
· To enhance citizen participation in issues of governance and democracy.
· To promote democratic free and fair electoral processes through objectively and impartially monitoring and observing elections.
· To promote the creation of a legal framework and an election culture conducive for free and fair elections.
· To effectively gather, disseminate and communicate objective information about elections and other democratic processes.

We have done tremendous work on advocating for electoral reforms some of which have formed the basis of some electoral legislation that we have in the country today. We have also raised awareness on voter registration, inspection of the voter’s and other electoral administrative activities through community workshops, public meetings, posters, fliers, print and broadcasting media.
We have also observed elections in Zimbabwe over the past years and produced reports that a lot of stakeholders have found useful and invaluable in policy review and recommendations.

In order to achieve our objectives, members of the Network are grouped into taskforces, which implement activities all over the country with secretariat coordinating the work.
We focus on the 5 major areas, which are as follows;

· Election Monitoring and Observation
·Public Outreach
· Research and Advocacy
· Media and Information
· Networking and Capacity Building

The organisation is 100 % donor funded by both local and international funding partners.

The organisation does not prohibit members to be politically affiliated but when doing ZESN activities all members should be non-partisan when working under the banner of ZESN

ZESN members of the Network form taskforces, which provide volunteers who help in implementing activities, geared towards achieving our objectives. We also exploit on the diversified skills and resources obtaining among our members.

ZESN has a secretariat team led by the National Director who reports to the Management Committee. We also have taskforces whose Chairpersons sit in the Management Committee, which reports to the Board and the Board reports to the AGM..

The Board formulates policy and oversees its implementation.

They help secretariat in implementing programme activities.

The day to day coordination and implementation of ZESN’s activity to achieve the organisation’s goals and objectives.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is a constitutional body while ZESN is a non-governmental organisation. Our role is to observe elections and election related activities with a view towards advocating for a free and fair electoral process in Zimbabwe, while ZEC is the electoral management body in charge of running the elections.

ZESN has a professional working relationship with the aforementioned, which is based on ZESN’s principles of promoting democratic elections in Zimbabwe.

We are not a member of Save Zimbabwe Campaign and where it seemed our roles converge it is only when SZC does activities directly linked to the promotion of democratic elections and processes. ZESN works with any stakeholder who endevours to promote democratic processes related to elections. As such we are observing the SZC as a democratic process within the country.

As ZESN we cannot speak on their behalf. ZANU PF or SZC can best answer such a question.

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Our position will remain the same. We will continue to promote for democratic electoral processes in Zimbabwe.

ZESN is prepared to observe the elections in 2018 as and when they are held. The organisation is currently training long-term and short-term observers and have already embarked on massive public outreach programmes to promote popular participation in the election.

At least one observer at every polling station.

We have observed elections in Africa under auspices of the African Union, the SADC PF, the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) and we also work with SADC Parliamentary Forum, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Fair Election Monitoring Alliance (FEMA), Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) among others in information sharing.