The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is setting up a new biometrics voters’ roll, which is expected to be in place by May next year and ready for the crucial 2018 general elections in which 92-year old President Robert Mugabe is the sole candidate for the ruling Zanu PF party. According to ZEC mapping has already started for the new voters’ roll and all Zimbabweans are expected to register to vote in any national election starting next year.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, says the election management body is implementing a raft of measures aimed at making the Zimbabwe’s electoral system more transparent and credible. Makarau told a stakeholders’ conference organised by the Elections Resource Centre that the reforms include a robust and efficient biometric voter registration exercise that would eliminate the dead and absent from the voters roll. She said the polling station-based voter registration exercise would, among other issues, result in the reduction in the number of ballot papers per polling station and reduce chances of double voting.
Zimbabwe: Opposition Parties Slam Electoral Commission For Voter Registration Dereliction | VoA News
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission revealed earlier this week that it was failing to honor its mandate of registering voters around the year in line with the law due to financial limitations. But opposition parties are firing back, accusing the ruling Zanu PF of deliberately compromising the electoral body for its own benefit. ZEC has always come under attack from the opposition for colluding with the ruling Zanu PF to disenfranchise voters to boost the party’s numbers. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was brought into existence on February 1, 2005, in conformity with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act after a constitutional amendment was passed which, among other things, abolished the Electoral Supervisory Commission and reestablished the ZEC.
Zimbabwe’s electoral body said on Tuesday it was failing to register voters at any given time in lockstep with the country’s laws due to crippling financial constraints. And given its dire straits, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said it was only registering new voters in areas with by-elections. Critics say the failure to keep the process open is jeopardizing thousands of prospective voters and undermining the country’s electoral system.
There was a low turnout in most polling stations in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo. At the various polling stations that Studio 7 visited, there were few voters who were coming to cast their ballots after long intervals. At Stanley Hall in the Makokoba constituency, some residents in the surrounding area were going about their daily business, with some women and children fetching water from a bowser just outside a local polling station. At other polling stations, including Mpopoma High School in the Mpopoma/Pelandaba constituency and Pumula Community Hall in the Pumula constituency, the turn-out was equally low. By lunch time, nearly 140 people had cast their ballots at the Pumula Community Hall, with 31 having been turned away for various reasons.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party will not take part in elections until reforms are made, media reports said on Saturday. “Unless there are reforms, participation in those by-elections would be futile,” said Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist who beat long-time leader Robert Mugabe in the first round of presidential elections in 2008 and later served as prime minister in a coalition government. His comments were carried by the official Herald daily.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signed legislation that brings the nation’s election laws in line with the constitution, Virginia Mabhiza, permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, told lawmakers today. The law allows for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to take control of the voters’ roll from the Registrar General’s office, which oversees registration of births and deaths and identity cards. Opposition parties, including the Movement for Democratic Change, have criticized the government for failing to give them access to an electronic copy of the roll in elections between 2000 and last year.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party has rejected the final report of Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s Election Observer Mission (SEOM) validating Zimbabwe’s July 31 polls as free, fair and credible. SEOM leader Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe on Monday delivered the final report which stated the Zimbabwean election had been held in a credible manner, Zimnbabwean news agency New Ziana reported. But former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party said the mission had failed to take note of various irregularities which it deemed were too many for the election to be given credence.
Southern African countries said Monday they found it “very difficult” to declare Zimbabwe’s elections fair, thanks to Robert Mugabe’s monopoly on state media and problems with the electoral roll. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission which observed the July 31 election declared the poll “credible” but stopped short of calling it fair. “On the question of fairness, it’s very difficult to say everything was fair,” SADC election observer Bernard Membe said in the capital Harare as he summarised his report. The 15-member regional body reiterated its call for sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States against Zimbabwe to be lifted, saying they actually helped Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. “Sanctions cannot be used as a tool for winning elections. As long as sanctions are there, this ZANU-PF will prevail for another 100 years,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s highest court has dismissed a case challenging President Robert Mugabe’s re-election last month and upheld the re-election of longtime leader. Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku told a packed courtroom Tuesday that Mugabe had been elected in accordance with Zimbabwe’s laws. He made the ruling while dismissing an application that had been filed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who lost the July 31 election. Terrence Hussein, the lawyer for Mugabe, said, “We are quite happy because it has brought stability and certainty. We can now all move on. I think we all now know who our president is for the next five years.” Mugabe will be sworn in no later than Thursday, thus extending his 33-year rule over Zimbabwe by another five years.