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‘Ready for elections’

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THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) yesterday said it was ready to superintend over a free and fair election next year in accordance with the law.

Moses Matenga Staff Reporter

One of the commissioners, Petty Makoni, said the commission was not made up of political appointees, but professionals that would execute their duties without bias.

Speaking during a media workshop in Kadoma, Makoni said the commission was not an extension of any political party, but a professional entity, capable of overseeing uncontestable polls.

“Nothing can be freer than the way we were interviewed and selected,” said Makoni, while responding to a question on ZEC’s independence and impartiality.

“We are not political appointees. We are here on merit. Adverts were placed in the Press and 142 people responded. Interviews were made in full view of the public in Parliament and the public gallery was full. Twelve were shortlisted and before we knew it, the results were posted online,” she said.

Acting ZEC chairperson Joyce Kazembe weighed in: “Our mission is to have free, fair and democratic elections and that is what we are doing. We are likely to conduct a referendum and elections in the near future.  We don’t give you a date, that’s not our role, the dates come from somewhere else.

“Your role as the media cannot be over-emphasised because you are the eyes and ears of society. We expect that you play a leading role in informing the public and we expect from you responsible reporting.

“We should be responsible enough to build bridges towards democracy, national healing and reconciliation. As we move closer, we should up our activity in a manner that we don’t go back to where we were.”

In the 2008 harmonised elections, ZEC was accused of triggering the violence that followed the disputed Presidential poll results by its delay in announcing the outcome.

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