The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission could in the long-term introduce closed-circuit television cameras inside polling stations to help reduce post-election disputes. Countries like Russia use that technology, and electronic ballot boxes that count votes on casting to engender greater transparency. The cameras are mounted near polling booths and outside election centres. Zec Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, who observed Russia’s national polls two weeks ago, said the Commission was exploring the possibility of introducing CCTV after this year’s harmonised elections.Full Article: More electoral reforms on the way – The Zimbabwe Mail.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The Constitutional Court Wednesday reserved judgment in a case in which three Zimbabweans are challenging provisions of the electoral court which prevent Diapsorans from voting in their countries of residency. The case was heard by the full bench of the Constitutional Court with the applications represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre. Applicants are arguing that residency requirements imposed by the Electoral Act contravene the Constitution which provided for political rights allowing every Zimbabwe citizen to participate in political processes, wherever they were.Full Article: Zimbabwe: Constitutional Court Reserves Judgment On Diaspora Vote Challenge - allAfrica.com.
The African Union will provide financial and technical assistance to Zimbabwe to help ensure credible elections later this year, the chairperson of the African Union Commission told reporters Tuesday in Harare. Briefing reporters at the end of a three-day visit to Zimbabwe, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he met separately with former President Robert Mugabe and current President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He said he discussed his meeting with Mugabe during a courtesy visit.Full Article: African Union to Provide Assistance for Zimbabwe Elections.
The election roadmap is facing a stumbling block due to a court issue over the software required to ensure legitimacy during the voting process. Laxton Group Ltd won the tender to supply the BVR kits that have been used during the voter registration process. Laxton Group argue that ZECs decision to award the de-duplication tender to IPSIDY could compromise the fairness of elections and they feel they are in the best position to provide the de-duplication service since they handled the registration that comes before de-duplication. We don’t know why ZEC decided to award different companies the respective tenders. Laxton supplied the kits that were used for registration. The next important step has been taken away from Laxton and awarded to a different company Ipsidy. Laxton says this may comromise the new voters’ roll.Full Article: Tech Issue At The Courts May Delay Election Roadmap - Techzim.
Recent promises made by Zimbabwe’s new president that free and fair elections will be held in 2018 are viewed with suspicion by people in Matabeleland, a part of the country that has suffered greatly under the ruling regime. From early 1983 to late 1984 government soldiers unleashed in the southwestern region by former president Robert Mugabe killed up to 20,000 Ndebele people, according to rights activists. Suspected of being affiliated with a rival nationalist party called Zapu, the victims were seen as a threat to the ruling Zanu-PF by the former dictator. Mugabe’s successor, the recently sworn-in President Emmerson Mnangagwa (75), was state security minister at the time and allegedly played a central role in co-ordinating attacks on civilians that became known locally as the Gukurahundi massacres. He denies any involvement.Full Article: Zimbabwe’s downtrodden wary of ‘free and fair election’ promise.
As Zimbabwe prepares for a general election in 2018, rights activists are criticizing the government’s decision to reintroduce a proof of residence requirement for voter registration, saying it disenfranchises a large number of potential voters – many of them women. After proposals to relax the rules on proof of residence drew criticism from various political parties, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in June reinstated the requirement that all voters must produce a document confirming their permanent address before they can register to vote. But activists say the move disqualifies anyone who doesn’t have a fixed address, doesn’t own property or simply can’t get hold of the necessary documentation.Full Article: Women Cut Out of Election by Zimbabwe’s Proof of Residence — Women & Girls.
Zimbabwe’s High Court, ruling in favour of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has ordered the government to allow people to vote in any constituency in a presidential election in March, the Daily News said on Saturday. “High Court Judge Rita Makarau ordered Tobaiwa Mudede, the registrar-general, to allow people to vote anywhere in the country and not necessarily in their constituencies as decreed by the government,” the privately owned newspaper said. Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), poses the biggest challenge to President Robert Mugabe’s 22 years in power in the March ballot.Full Article: Zimbabwe opposition wins voters' roll ruling |.
The election body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), has cleared the air on identity documents for voting following recent reports implying that those with metal identity cards would not be allowed to register during the forthcoming biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise ahead of the 2018 make-or-break polls. Zec said that voter registration requirements were enshrined in Section 4 of Statutory Instrument 85 of 2017 (Voter Registration Regulations), which states that “for any Zimbabwean to register as a voter, they can use a national identity document which takes the form of a metal ID, plastic ID or a waiting pass with the holder’s photograph”.Full Article: Zim electoral body Zec clears air on IDs for voting | African Independent.
Zimbabwean demonstrators, many who had come from other regions of the UK, gathered at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. The demonstration was one of the cross-country series of protests for #Take2Zimbabwe lined up by Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation (ZHRO), Restoration Of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR) and Zimbabwe Citizens Initiative (ZCI). This was the third of those planned for this year, after those held in London on the 18th and Birmingham on the 22nd of April. The main goals of these demonstrations is to fight for the right to vote, to highlight corruption, and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans working together in groups are getting involved and uniting through working in partnerships, hoping that these non-violent protests will turn into voting rights, recognitions of human rights and ultimately, a real democracy.Full Article: Zimbabwe's diaspora in the UK continue their push for a right to vote - The Zimbabwean.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has barred the Zimbabwe Political Parties Dialogue Forum (ZPPDF) from partaking in the Biometric Voter Registration kit testing pilot project. ZPPDF is a technical partner of the opposition National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) coalition. The forum had written to ZEC, asking to be allowed to participate in the BVR testing pilot project. Last week ZEC engaged political parties and civil society organisations that deal with elections where the electoral body announced that it was going to test the feasibility of the BVR.Full Article: Zimbabwe: Biometrics - ZEC Blocks Opposition Expert - allAfrica.com.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has expressed dismay over the continued use of two voters’ roll in Zimbabwe’s parliamentary elections saying the electoral body should stop this practice. In its detailed report following the Mwenezi parliamentary election won by a Zanu PF candidate at the weekend, ZESN said, “ZESN observers reported that the Commission continued to use two voters’ rolls in the by-election a trend that has been previously observed in previous by-elections. “The main voters’ roll made up of voters captured during the registration process was used together with a supplementary roll based on the ward based voters’ roll used in the 2013 harmonised election. ZESN reiterates its position that use of one voters’ roll in future elections will greatly enhance the transparency and integrity of the electoral process.”Full Article: Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Still Using 2 Voters' Rolls in By-Elecitons.
When the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced that the country was going to adopt Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system for use in the 2018 harmonised elections most of those that have known the Government of Zimbabwe found this overture to be too good to be true. Coming as it did — a good 30 months ahead of the elections — after minimum lobbying by civic society organisation (CSOs), many became suspicious about this concession that was being readily granted by a government that was intransigently resisting effecting a raft of electoral reforms that opposition parties have been demanding. At the time, some members of these CSOs had told the Financial Gazette that the readiness with which government was willing to let go the “golden” Tobaiwa Mudede-compiled voters’ roll showed that either the ruling party strategists had identified horse and cart loopholes that could be exploited to ZANU-PF’s electoral advantage or it was just a strategy to buy time so that it could plead poverty and shortage of time on the eleventh hour when the only option left would be to revert to the tested old voters’ roll.Full Article: Zimbabwean politics of biometric voter registration system - The Zimbabwe Daily.
Opposition parties in Zimbabwe say they have no confidence in the country’s electoral commission and are calling for an international body to run the 2018 elections. Opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a rally of about 500 people Wednesday in Harare at which they said the next election is heading for a dispute unless the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, or ZEC, steps aside. The rally follows the electoral commission’s request to President Robert Mugabe’s government to buy biometric voter registration equipment in preparation for Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections. The opposition says the move is unconstitutional. Opposition supporters marched to the commission’s offices to present a petition, singing on their way.Full Article: Zimbabwe Opposition Parties Demand Internationally-run 2018 Elections.
Zimbabwe’s opposition parties put on a show of unity Wednesdays, where they marched through the streets of Harare, demanding transparency and the disbanding of the state-appointed electoral commission they accuse of hindering free-and-fair elections. Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was among those marching, singing and demanding accountability from the country’s electoral commission, despite heavy police presence. Efforts to derail Wednesday’s march, proved unsuccessful as opposition parties put on a force of unity as they demanded the disbandment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission which they declared lacked “impartiality and independence.”Full Article: Tsvangirai, Other Opposition Leaders Stage Anti-Electoral Commission March.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is not intending to use e-voting in the 2018 harmonised elections although it is intending to procure biometric registration kits to register voters. In an interview, ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the biometric kits being acquired by government will only be used to capture the usual identity details plus the finger prints in order to improve the credibility of the voters roll and avoid disputed election results. Biometric voter registration (BVR) is expected to capture voters’ unique biometric features, specifically fingerprints and facial imaging which will be recorded in a database.
Opposition political parties have added their voice to growing calls for the abandonment of biometric voter registration (BVR) amid concerns the system could be prone to manipulation by hostile nations and untenable due to the country’s low Internet penetration. Lawyers and academics were the first to raise the red flag over the implementation of BVR last week, saying electronic voting could create challenges that may be used to discredit the electoral process. Opposition parties share similar sentiments. Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) leader Mr Elton Mangoma called for the abandonment of the process.Full Article: Zimbabwe: More Thumbs Down for Biometric Voting - allAfrica.com.
Zimbabwe must not rush to implement nationwide biometric voter registration (BVR) before a pilot project, given the threat of hacking on technological infrastructure and the financial pitfalls that could plague the process, political analysts have warned. The analysts noted that developed countries like France had since cancelled electronic voting, while Kenya and Ghana that conducted it went through serious challenges that spawned disputed outcomes. The analysts spoke in the wake of a spirited call from opposition parties for the introduction of electronic voter registration and voting, which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has since started putting in motion.Full Article: Red flag over Zimbabwe's biometric voter registration - Bulawayo24 News.
The Zimbabwe biometric voter registration (BVR) system is expected to be fully functional in March 2017 as part of a broader plan to utilise ICT in the running of the country’s general elections, scheduled for July 2018. The BVR system will be used during registration and voting. Amid allegations of fraudulent voter registration and ballot stuffing, the local opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has expressed concern over the security of the infrastructure and the sluggish pace of the implementation of the BVR system.Full Article: Zimbabwe’s biometric voter registration system hangs in balance - ITWeb Africa.
Zimbabwe: Government takes over acquisition of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits from UNDP | Techzim
The government of Zimbabwe has taken over the acquisition of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, replacing the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which had stepped in because of Zimbabwe’s strained resources. According to Open Parly, this was announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson, Rita Makarau. The BVR kits are meant to provide a modern, transparent voter registration process and are part of the measures that are being taken to ensure fair elections. Earlier communication from the ZEC had outlined how the Biometric Voter Registration would work.Full Article: Zimbabwe government takes over acquisition of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits from UNDP - Techzim.
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.Full Article: Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Compiles New Voters' Roll.