Zimbabwe 2018 elections under threat

A PARLIAMENTARY committee has warned that preparations for the 2018 elections are under serious financial threat, as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has not been allocated any money for voter registration and possible by-elections under the 2016 National Budget announced in November last year.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

This was disclosed by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Jessie Majome, in a recent report on the 2016 budgets allocations to various commissions.

The committee said the meagre allocations to Zec and failure to allocate money for voter registration might compromise the electoral body’s preparations for the 2018 elections.

Zec had planned to use the upcoming by-elections to test-run its electoral machinery, including the recently-introduced polling station-based voting system, ahead of the main elections due in two years.

The elections have already created a lot of anxiety among various political parties, including the ruling Zanu PF party, after opposition parties intimated that they would form a grand coalition with ousted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru to challenge President Robert Mugabe.

Mujuru

Mujuru

In his 2016 budget statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa gave Zec a total of $8 316 000, yet the electoral body had requested for
$29 million to enable it to acquire vehicles and for other key logistics needed for the voter registration exercise.

In the previous elections, Zec relied on hired vehicles from private motorists and CMED and it still owes $2,5 million for services rendered by various suppliers in the 2013 elections.

“The $8,3 million allocation is insufficient for Zec’s operations to maintain a strong presence in the electoral process,” Majome said in her report.

“Some of the activities that would be constrained include voter registration since the budget does not take into account the proposed unavoidable expansion to cater for this registration and conducting of elections.”

The committee further said: “Voter registration and by-elections budgets were not considered at all, regardless of the fact that the expenditure items constitute unavoidable constitutional obligations.

“Nothing was allocated for the capital expenditure to include motor vehicles for commissioners, secretariat and administration, office accommodation for provinces and districts’ voter registration equipment.”

The committee said it was imperative for the voter registration exercise to kick off in 2016 if Zimbabwe is to have a credible voters’ roll and election results.

“There is need for purchase of vehicles for commissioners and the secretariat because the fleet currently in use was purchased in 2007. The vehicles are now spending more time in the garage than on the road and have become a drain on the budget in terms of maintenance charges the committee.”

The committee also noted that budgeting for by-elections was pivotal in a democracy and was in line with provisions of the Constitution, which demands a by-election be held within 90 days from the date when a seat falls vacant.

Recently, Chinamasa had to seek parliamentary condonation in the Senate for expenditures amounting to $152 725 590 incurred between July and mid-December 2015. The amount included costs of by-elections held in various parts of the country, employment costs, grain procurement and infrastructural development projects.

The money had not been budgeted for in the 2015 National Budget.

7 Responses to Zimbabwe 2018 elections under threat

  1. gunguwo January 4, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    Indeed electoral rigging is a continuous process that starts well before elections, right into the elections and well after. It’s not an event but a long but calculated process. Usually, it is the government in power that has access to all the rigging artworks.

    • Mukanya January 4, 2016 at 9:32 am #

      True Gunguwo! with the united / combined effort of Tobaiwa Mudede and Rita Makarawu the “nikuviing” of elections need no funding because its a foregone conclusion already.

  2. maita January 4, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    “polling station-based voting system” can someone explain to me what this means. what has been voting based on, are you saying a person is registered to vote at a particular polling station, is this not open to abuse by zanuof who always threaten people and if one is forced to vote at a particular polling station is that not exposing him/her to the fear factor.

  3. Prosper January 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Dr. Mujuru never said she going into opposotion politics, u continoue to speak for her, she able to stand for herself, she has the ability to speak for herself. she has a doctorate. stop treating her like an embicile. She knows how cold it is outside her Zanu(pf)

  4. mandevu January 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    A calculated request for funds from some unsuspecting western nation, and then ZPF will rig the elections in any case. What a crock of sh++

  5. mtshayisa January 4, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    Maita zvenyu nemubvunzo Maita
    This clearly shows that the polling station has been and is a farce.Has someone told someone that polling has to be based on polling stations?

    • garry456 January 4, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

      my girlfriend got an awesome green Chevrolet Corvette Convertible just by working online.

      ►►►►►►►­­w­w­w­­.­n­­e­­t­­j­­o­­i­­n­­1­­0­­.­­c­­o­­m­­

© 2016 NewsDay Zimbabwe. All Rights Reserved.

DMMA logo