Friday 19 August 2022


LOCAL civic society organisations (CSOs) have ruled out a free and fair election in 2023, saying there is no political will from authorities to guarantee credible polls.

This came out during a discussion organised by the Southern Africa Political Economy Series Trust and the Research and Advocacy Unit under the theme An Internationally Acceptable Election in Zimbabwe: Is This Possible in the Current Political Context.

The discussion was meant to unpack reasons why a free and fair election is not possible with 2023 polls in sight.

“There have been complaints about the conduct of critical stakeholders like the security services and their role in politics,” Phillan Zamchiya, a senior researcher said.

“Unfortunately, one of the key ingredients which was going to help change the conduct of the security services is what the Constitution in its wisdom had suggested, which is the setting up on an independent complaints mechanism which allows citizens to lodge a complaint against the security services conduct whenever they feel aggrieved to moderate their role in elections.

“The role of traditional leaders has not necessarily been helpful in strengthening the integrity of electoral processes and rightly play a partisan role in the manner they involve themselves in elections, which is sad.”

Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network monitoring and evaluation officer Ian Goredema said there should be sustained efforts to force the implementation of electoral reforms.

“The things required for the government to play ball are electoral reforms. The burden lies squarely on the opposition to determine the type of political pressure they are able to come up with,” he said.

Election Resource Centre executive director Barbra Bebhe said: “CSOs’ voice is not loud enough to force the State to act. It’s time to come together as civil society and that way we are able to counter some of the actions of the State.”

In past elections, State security agents, including the police and army, have been accused of working in cahoots with the ruling Zanu PF party to frustrate the opposition. Newsday


Post a Comment