By Yvonne Manjengwa
Harare, 12 January 2018
Independent electoral watchdog, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), has commended the mop up exercise of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) and calls upon Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to ensure that some of the challenges that were experienced during the BVR Blitz which concluded on 19 December 2017 are addressed.
ZEC experienced power challenges for BVR kits, intimidation of voters by political players and traditional leaders, unavailability of commissioners of oaths and affidavit forms (VR9) at some centres and inadequate voter education.
In a statement, ZESN has urged ZEC to provide clarity regarding the procurement of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) which has been subject to controversy according to media reports.
“ZESN reiterates its calls for a detailed election calendar and a comprehensive 2018 electoral roadmap to enable electoral stakeholders to adequately plan interventions in support of these electoral processes”.
ZESN noted that the appointment of the new ZEC chairperson should be in line with requirements of Section 238 of the Constitution and the principles of rationality and natural justice.
“The new chairperson must safeguard the independence of the commission and abide by the ethics in electoral management which are independence, transparency, professionalism, competence and fairness,” ZESN said.
ZESN added that the government must facilitate the formation of a democratic electoral environment that guarantees the respect and pleasure of universal suffrage and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe.