The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said on Tuesday it is ready to conduct the referendum on a new Constitution scheduled for November this year and harmonised elections slated for March next year provided it is availed of the requisite resources. Zimbabwe is due to conduct a Constitutional referendum most likely in November while general elections have been tentatively set for March 2013, reports Zimbabwe’s news agency New Ziana. ZEC acting chairperson Joyce Kazembe told a media conference that at least US$104 million was required for the referendum. “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is always ready to conduct elections or a referendum. Technically, we are ready and technically we boast that we are one of the best organised to hold any elections on the basis that the Commission is properly resourced both financially and materially and human resource wise to hold that,” she said.
The date for the referendum, to be held after the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference set for the end of this month, is yet to be fixed. Kazembe said ZEC would also require a six weeks lead time before the referendum to cater for voter education, staff training and other logistical arrangements. President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are the main contenders in the Presidential election, which will end the inclusive government. Meanwhile, ZEC has established a special committee on conflict management ahead of the referendum and elections.