2 March 2018 – The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) notes the pronouncements made by the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) that the provisional voters’ roll will be out by early April 2018. In order to afford electoral stakeholders ample time to plan various interventions in support of the various electoral processes preceding the 2018 elections, ZESN reiterates its calls for a detailed operational plan, election calendar and a comprehensive 2018 electoral roadmap. Whereas ZESN appreciates the indicative timelines given by the ZEC Chairperson regarding the availability of the provisional voters’ roll, the Network believes that a detailed roadmap with specific start and end dates for key electoral processes should be availed forthwith. This will assist electoral stakeholders to accurately plan their interventions such as voter education, campaigning, monitoring and observation.
ZESN applauds the commitment by the Electoral Commission to ensure that every registered voter’s information is correctly captured and that they are assigned to their correct polling stations. In terms of the de-duplication process, ZESN calls upon ZEC to publicize how the process will be conducted as well as provide clarity on how double entries within the voters’ rolls will be dealt with.
Furthermore, ZESN notes that the dates for accreditation of observers have not yet been indicated. It is crucial that the Commission establishes a framework for long term observation and the dates for accreditation shared on time. Moreover, the Network is calling upon the Commission to critically review the accreditation fees for domestic observers as the current fees continue to present a challenge to efforts to observe electoral processes. ZESN therefore requests the Commission to waive or reduce accreditation fees for local observers. In addition, the organization appeals to the Commission to remove the requirement for observers to present themselves physically at the accreditation centre. A facility that allows for observer details (passport size photo and identity details) to be submitted to ZEC for the purposes of accreditation would be more cost effective as the case in other African countries like Liberia, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.
ZESN also calls upon the Commission to share other necessary administrative and logistical mechanisms in place to ensure a credible voter registration process, for example the regulations for the inspection of the voters’ roll.
ZESN remains committed to the promotion of democratic elections in Zimbabwe and believes that the timely availability of the ZEC operational plan and election calendar will greatly assist efforts by all electoral stakeholders to support the holding of credible elections in Zimbabwe.