GOVERNMENT says it is currently seized with the modalities to implement a wide range of reforms recommended by various election observer missions and the Kgalema Motlanthe commission of inquiry appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa following the killing of civilians by the military on August 1 in post-election violence.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Justice permanent secretary Virginia Mabiza said the inter-ministerial committee chaired by Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi would submit its full set of recommendations next month for action by Cabinet.
“We have met more than three times and the ultimate intention is for us to come up with an ultimate implementation matrix on some of the key reform recommendations from the Motlanthe commission and also what came from the different observer missions who observed our elections,” she said.
Mabiza, a key figure in Mnangagwa’s government after being appointed head of secretariat to the Motlanthe commission and now heading the secretariat of the inter-ministerial committee, said compensation and justice for the victims remained integral.
“Key to the recommendations are the issue of compensation, the issue of bringing to account those that may be held responsible of the shootings of August 1. The various observer missions made a lot of recommendations as proposing electoral amendments to our laws. We have taken most of the recommendations on board and it’s now up to Cabinet to approve what has come from our committee,” she said.
Critics have accused government of talking more than they are committed to act, with victims of the shootings saying a year later, it was just still talk and no action, but Mabiza said it would be done.
“Government is very committed to implementing these reforms to the extent that they are practicable. For example, if you look at the observer mission reports, you also have to subject them to the test of constitutionality. If they are ultra vires our Constitution, we may not be able to implement them,” she said.
Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn), which has developed a tracking tool on the electoral reforms recommended by election observers, said although nothing had been done, they were still hopeful.
“We wrote to the inter-ministerial committee and also delivered the compendium of electoral recommendations by the various observer missions. You might also want to know that we have developed a tracking tool to see which recommendations are taken on board and implemented,” Zesn said.
“At the moment, there is nothing that has been implemented, but we have noted that reforms are being discussed in government, Parliament and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, that in itself is good.”