The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) has attacked the inclusive government for setting election timelines under the Global Political Agreement without consulting the electorate.
Zesn said the development reflected the tripartite government’s “continued disregard of the voice of the people”, adding the timelines agreed on were unrealistic.
“Zesn believes that the 30 days given for voter education and mobilisation for voter registration are insufficient as the successful completion of the processes is likely to exceed the set timeline given the many dimensions the processes demand,” Zesn said.
The NGO expressed concern over the 60-day timeline given for voter registration and preparation for a new voters’ roll, arguing the timelines had to be increased to capture the estimated five million potential voters.
Zanu PF has been insisting on elections this year, arguing the coalition government has failed to gel as anticipated, but the two MDCs and Sadc facilitators have ruled out general elections, citing several outstanding issues in the implementation of the GPA.
Zesn also noted the proposed Electoral Amendments Bill which seeks to set up a polling station-based voters’ roll would necessitate the reregistration of all existing voters and allocation to specific polling stations and the time allocated was inadequate.
The electoral body also added its voice to calls for security reform, saying there was no guarantee of peaceful polls until the sector was reformed.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo on Wednesday said their chief negotiator, Patrick Chinamasa, had taken them through the issue of election timelines, but the party had rejected them.
“Some of the timeframes are unacceptable, given that they will drag elections until next year or 2013,” Gumbo said, adding Zanu PF would push for elections this year.