BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) will this week host representatives of political parties, election observer groups, constitutional commissions and civic society to diagnose its handling of the July 30, 2018 harmonised elections.
The indaba, to be held in Nyanga, will, according to acting chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana, seek to improve the country’s management of the electoral processes ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“As part of the 2018 harmonised elections post-review process, Zec will conduct an all-stakeholder conference to discuss strengths and areas of improvement in the way the elections were conducted as the commission prepares for the 2019-2023 electoral cycle,” Silaigwana said.
The indaba will receive recommendations from observers who witnessed the 2018 general elections, who include the European Union, African Union, Commonwealth, NDI and Sadc observer missions.
Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira will present on the role of traditional leaders during elections, particularly looking at provision of civic education.
Chiefs have been under fire for backing Zanu PF during elections and have also been at the centre of violating their subjects’ fundamental voting
Charumbira was recently dragged to court over allegations that he was backing Zanu PF and has since been ordered to publicly withdraw his statements, which were ruled to be in violation of his constitutional mandate.
Zec has ignored other political parties which participated in the 2018 elections, and will only receive presentations from Zanu PF, MDC Alliance and MDC-T, who will give their
views on the biometric voters roll, the challenges and lessons learnt.
The Judicial Services Commission will deal with dispute resolution mechanisms during the 2018 general elections.
MDC leader Nelson Chamisa disputed the presidential election results, dragging Zec and winner President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the Constitutional Court for redress, but without success.
The opposition also had a number of disputes with Zec, which included the design of the presidential ballot, printing of ballots and the voters roll.
The Zimbabwe Media Commission will examine the role of the media during elections.