The moment to embrace E-voting is now, declared Pishayi Muchauraya, once an avid MDC supporter and now with soon to be officially launched Patriotic Zimbabweans (PZ) Party. Muchauraya, the party’s organising secretary said this whilst addressing journalists at the Media Centre after their petition to parliament on the diaspora vote arguing that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is currently not engendering and sanctioning the diaspora vote.
PZ is grounded in all Zimbabweans no matter their geographical location hence the need to push for the electoral vote.
‘’We are proposing electronic voting (also known as E-voting) that uses electronic means to either aid or take care of casting and counting votes”, said Muchauraya.
“Depending on the particular implementation, e-voting may use standalone electronic voting technology, which can include punched cards, optical scan voting systems, and specialized voting kiosks including self-contained direct-recording systems, or DRE. This will also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephone, private computer networks, or internet’’ Muchauraya asserted.
PZ in a statement read by Muchauraya supported two types of e-voting namely: e-voting which is physically supervised by representatives of government or independent electoral authorities and remote e-voting via the internet (also called i-voting) where the voter submits his or her vote electronically to the election authorities, from any location.
PZ further highlighted that there are a lot of benefits that accrue from electronic voting such as regards the counting where it doesn’t require a cumbersome staff complement. E-voting also improve accessibility for disabled voters. Results under the e-voting would allow voters to vote independently from their locations. PZ assures the nation that if given the mandate to rule, they will guarantee the diaspora vote through promoting e-voting.
‘’We the PZ support the Postal Vote already happening in other countries, for example, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Hungary, Germany, and Finland. Section 67 of the Zimbabwean Constitution support the citizen’s right to vote. That is why we have approached parliament petitioning on the right to vote for all citizens of Zimbabwe, including those in the diaspora. Our petition has been accepted by the Speaker of Parliament Mr Jacob Mudenda,” remarked Muchauraya, who previously was with the Movement for Democratic Party (MDC).
Coalescing political voices must be based on sanitizing the electoral process. Muchauraya argued that Section 67 of the Constitution gives voting rights to every Zimbabwean, the Electoral Act of 2008, and the Electoral Regulations Act of 2005 restricts voting rights to Zimbabweans on official government assignments only. Thus as PZ Party, we say it’s unfair that all other persons abroad are required to present themselves to vote.”
Zimbabwe is meant to have its harmonized plebiscite in 2023, after previous harmonized elections that were conducted in 2023. A lot of parties are mushrooming ahead of a lukewarm push by opposition parties for electoral reforms to ensure a free and fair contest. The diaspora vote has remained a thorny issue in the flesh of Zimbabwean electoral reforms demand.