Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Rita Makarau has said alignment of the Electoral Act with the new Constitution is a key priority area.
Makarau said this during a lecture at the National Defence College this week where she spoke about preparations for the forthcoming June 10 by-elections.
“Some of the challenges Zec is experiencing are voters’ roll registration, realignment of the electoral laws to the Constitution, the use of technology in elections, funding of elections and voter education,” Makarau said.”
“We are wondering, do we start a new voter registration afresh or if we might have to use the already existing voters’ roll and subject it to what we call an integrity test?”
Since the Constitution was ratified in 2013, very few amendments had been effected in the Electoral Act in order for it to be in tandem with the new charter.
When Makarau appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in February, she told the committee that non-alignment of the Electoral Act with the Constitution had resulted in Zec being sued by some stakeholders for violation of section 67 of the Constitution, which gives rights to every Zimbabwean over 18 years to vote or stand for election for public office.
Currently Zec is conducting a seven-day voter registration and voters’ roll inspection which started on Wednesday and will end on April 28 ahead of by-elections in at least 14 constituencies.
“So, anyone who after April 28 lodges a claim for registration in any of the 14 constituencies concerned will not be able to vote in the June by-elections Zec will use the voters’ rolls that were used during the 2013 harmonised elections as the basis for the exercise. Persons whose names already appear on these rolls will not be re-registered,” lawyer grouping, Veritas said.
The 14 seats were previously held by
MDC-T MPs who lost them after crossing the floor to join the MDC Renewal Team.