Wednesday, 12 October 2016


MDC-T is demanding involvement in the procurement of biometric voter registration equipment and other related voting materials.

In addition, the opposition party demanded that the electoral body should chide the police whenever members of political parties were arrested during voter education campaigns.

The Morgan Tsvangirai-led party also demanded that drivers’ licences should be accepted as legal voting documents.These demands were made by a senior MDC-T official Mr Murisi Zwizwai during a meeting between ZEC and political parties on Monday.

Mr Zwizwai was however told by ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau that the country’s laws do not allow political parties to be involved in procurement of electoral material.She advised him that political parties could only form a committee that would in turn engage ZEC on the goings-on relating to the procurement of the material.

Said Mr Zwizwai: “The clamour for a clean and fresh voters roll is one that comes out of a clarion call by opposition political parties and stakeholders. In the spirit of inclusivity and transparency, it is only fair that we be included in the procurement process not that you give us feedback because you have been repeatedly saying ZEC and its cooperating partners (excluding political parties).
“We are Zimbabweans here and we are the political players, we are the people who are going to be directly involved in the process and we are the ones who called for reform in the form of a fresh voters roll.“The technical partners, yes, it is important that they be there, but we want also to be involved.”Responding to the demands, Justice Makarau said unless the country’s laws were changed, political parties had no role to play in such procurement processes.

“Unfortunately our laws do not allow you to be involved in the procurement process,” she said.“There are certain players who are set. We have been saying there is nothing wrong in you forming a committee that will dialogue with us on those issues as long as at the end of the day, those entities — if it is SPB which has got to do it, it is the SBP that has to do it in terms of our laws.

“We cannot sit as Dynamos Football Club and say we are going to procure biometric kits. The law does not allow that.”Justice Makarau said the cooperating partners were only assisting ZEC and, were not involved in the procurement process.On the use of drivers’ licences as legal voting documents, Justice Makarau said ZEC had no objections to that as long as the law was amended to allow that.In another contribution on voter education, Mr Zwizwai said ZEC should come to the rescue of political parties when their members were arrested.

“What we expect from you as a commission is that because you are the independent body, which is making sure that elections are conducted in free, fair and credible way, so in the event that members of a political party are arrested for conducting voter education, we expect you as ZEC to issue a statement to say that political parties have a right to conduct their voter education because if you keep quiet and yet you are responsible for conducting free and fair elections, it becomes a problem.”

In this regard Justice Makarau said the law actually favoured political parties and they were not required to inform the electoral body on such programmes.


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