FULL NERA Press Statement on Biometric Voting BVR
It has come to the attention of NERA that training for the Biometric Voting has begun at KG6, a government Facility. Military Officials, Central Intelligence Officers, ZEC and ZANU PF officials are already in training for the Biometric Voting System. All this is occurring with approval from the UNDP – United Nations Development Programme.
We are not shocked by ZANU PF taking an under handed approach, in fact, anything involving zanu pf is always under handed. The history of ZANU PF and elections is riddled with an unsavory approach and disdain for the electoral process. Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC), which is the election tool for rigging for ZANU PF has in the last year refused and failed to
• Afford all citizens the right to vote,
• Failed to conduct voter education and
• Failed to enact full election reform.
In fact, it appears that ZANU PF wants a repeat of the 2013 elections. In 2013 elections where conducted suddenly without election reform with a mere executive order from the President to conduct the elections. Justice Rita Makarau of ZEC stated that the country’s electoral laws are so weak that they affect the election management body’s ability to effectively deal with electoral malpractices. In addition to ZEC’s inaction and refusal to be an effective independent election body, ZANU PF leadership has made it clear there will be no electoral reforms. ZANU PF’s leadership has utilized ZANU PF youth and MPs to harass citizens and opposition and has threatened violence if ZANU PF loses elections. These behaviours by ZANU PF and ZEC are clear indicators that there is no plan to afford the Zimbabwean Citizens Free and Fair Elections.
NERA and all our stakeholders are frankly not shocked by the behavior of ZEC=ZANU PF as we knew the fight for electoral reform would be an uphill battle. NERA is however disappointed and shocked by UNDP – United Nations Development Programme seeming Complicity to the behavior of ZANU PF .
UNDP is an organization which advocates for peace, stability, human rights and effective governance, based on the rule of law . NERA hopes that UNDP’s seeming complicity with ZANU training military , CIO and ZANU PF officials to BVR is a mere misunderstanding . UNDP must understand that ZEC and ZANU PF are in the process of rigging the 2018 election. UNDP is well aware that FREE and FAIR election cannot be conducted in a militarized environment especially in Zimbabwe where the military and central intelligence are an extension of ZANU PF.
It is important for ZEC +ZANU PF and UNDP to remember that for elections to be FREE and FAIR, Citizens civil liberties must be respected. It is in the country’s best interests for practical problems and problems of credibility and legitimacy of Elections to be avoided. What is taking place with BVR and ZANU PF constitutes rigging as it involves military and as it excludes all the stakeholders who include NERA and Civil society groups.
For a country to have FREE and FAIR elections ALL stakeholders and citizens must be afforded a transparent and peaceful electoral process. Zimbabwe will never be truly democratic until its citizens have the opportunity to choose their representatives through elections that are free and fair without fear of manipulation and violent retaliation from ZANU PF.
NERA is also issuing a strong warning to ZEC and ZANU PF leaders and legislators that under the constitution citizens must be afforded a FREE and FAIR elections. It would serve ZEC +ZANU PF leaders and legislators well to reorient themselves with the constitution so they may remedy their treasonous behaviour.
ZEC has demonstrated that they are NOT A legitimate NEUTRAL Organisation AND there must be disbanded. ZEC has not only failed to meet the majority of the objectives listed in ZEC Strategic Plan for 2016 but has further compromised itself by allowing ZANU PF to involve the military and central intelligence training in BVR training without the knowledge of opposition Stakeholders.
NERA will be taking legal action for ZEC to be disbanded and in addition NERA will be calling for a meeting with UNDP to discuss the extent of UNDP’s assistance of ZEC+ZANU PF in betraying the trust of the Zimbabwean People . As key stakeholders we recognize that we must deal very forceful with ZEC and ZANU PF as they are clearly an enemy of Democracy .
Enough is Enough it is time Zimbabwe realizes the promise of what our ancestors and freedom fighters so dearly and fatally fought for and thought they had achieved in 1980. The for civil discussion with ZEC is over. It is time to exercise our right to legally fight for the disbandment of ZEC an organization which has committed repeated acts of treason against the Zimbabwean people
NERA will remain steadfast in pushing for electoral reform and stand United with the Citizens of Zimbabwe in our peaceful fight for a better and thriving Zimbabwe
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