By Yvonne Manjengwa
2 February 2018 – The Zimbabwe Election Support Network has called upon the newly appointed ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba to spearhead the mandatory legislative and administrative reforms to ensure that the 2018 elections are free, fair and credible.
Justice Priscilla Chigumba took her oath of loyalty and office yesterday at the State House in Harare before President Mnangagwa.
ZESN highlighted that Justice Chigumba must strive to safeguard and protect the independence of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by ensuring that principles of good electoral management such as transparency, integrity, professionalism, competence and fairness are upheld.
“As ZEC finalizes the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) mop up which concludes on 8 February 2018 ,ZESN urges the new chairperson to ensure that a comprehensive election calendar ,clear timelines and roadmap of key electoral processes are put in place and shared with all stakeholders”, said ZESN in a statement .
ZESN noted that ZEC should continue to hold the stakeholder engagement meetings and consider increasing the frequency of such meetings in view of the time left before the elections are held.
“ZESN reiterates its calls for ZEC to adopt the Open Data policy which entails the timely access to information about each phase of the election process in granular and analyzable formats”.
ZESN alludes that it is crucial for the new ZEC chairperson to ensure that the Commission adheres to the principles of open data which are fundamental in creating and reinforcing public confidence in electoral processes.
Justice Priscilla Chigumba succeeds Justice Rita Makarau who resigned last year in December.