The Election Resource Centre (ERC) has said it is appalled by a statement issued recently by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the issuance of the voters’ toll. In a statement, seen by Pindula News, ZEC Chief Elections Officer Utloile Silaigwana said the electoral body will not allow for an independent audit of the voters’ roll as it is against the Electoral Act. ERC said the comments soil ZEC’s image. We present ERC’s statement below.

ERC response to ZEC Statement- Issuance of Voters Roll

We are appalled by the statement issued by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on the 28 of May 2022 headed ‘ Issuance of Voters Roll” in which the Commission abhors that it has no legal standing to provide the voters roll outside of an election and it will not be bound by any findings of ‘independent audits’ as they are not provided for in the Electoral Act. The comments are unfortunate, dent the image of the Electoral Body and negatively impact citizens and stakeholder trust in the work of the Commission at a time when the Commission ought to be restoring public trust and confidence ahead of the 2023 Harmonised Elections.

Founding values and principles espoused in the Constitution of Zimbabwe found in Chapter 1 Section 3 (2) on the principles of good governance, which bind the State and all institutions. include transparency, justice, accountability and responsiveness. ZEC cannot by its very nature of creation shy away from complying with these constitutional principles. For the Commission to selectively choose which sections to comply with is unexpected and concerning. ZEC must restore confidence in As work through constantly making the voter’s roll accessible to the public and addressing concerns raised by stakeholders.

ERC reiterates that ZEC is duty-bound in reference to the aspirations of Section 194 (1) (h) of the Constitution. Transparency in election administration must be fostered by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information. It is from this backdrop that we encourage ZEC to, not only reflect on what is inscribed in the Electoral Act but to look at the Constitution of Zimbabwe in a holistic manner in order to further the agenda of a free, fair and credible electoral process in Zimbabwe. Section 62 (1) of the Constitution further stipulates that every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent residence, including Juristic persons and the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level, insofar as the information is required in the interest of public accountability. ERC contends that all these provisions are sufficiently binding and have a direct bearing on the conduct of the Commission and in that regard ZEC must always be seen to be complying with the provisions.
As Zimbabwe prepares to undertake the Delimitation of Electoral Boundaries and many other electoral activities geared towards the 2023 Harmonized Elections, due consideration must be taken to ensure that stakeholders and citizens’ concerns are sincerely addressed without window dressing

Source: Pindula News