NERA accuses ZEC of skipping mandatory monthly meetings with political parties6 years ago
In a statement on its facebook page NERA said:
In another gloomy development on the electoral reform front, ZEC has skipped its mandatory political parties’ monthly meetings for the second time in 2017. Since the beginning of 2017 ZEC-Political Parties Dialogue Forum has failed to meet, raising strong suspicion that ZEC’s reluctance is so revealing of the new anti-reform stance of the ZANU PF government. In January ZEC deferred the meeting from the 16th of January to the 17th only to excuse Rita Makarau who chairs the same forum barely 10 minutes after the meeting had started. ZEC announced that Rita Makaru had been invited to parliament. Despite a consensus that the meeting be deferred on condition that ZEC will call for another one within the month of January,Feedback
ZEC went mute up to the end of January.
Shock, disbelief and conspiracy started doing rounds when February drew to another end without a single word from ZEC. The silence of ZEC throughout February is appalling to say the least This is dovetailing into the emerging narrative that the announcement of government takeover of BVR by both Rita and Chinamasa in the public media was just but the turning point in the electoral reform engagements. Word has it that the Office of the President has since deployed more details to closely monitor operations at ZEC and the suspension of the monthly meetings was one of their priorities. The entire body politic is gripped with anxiety as the sad and dark season of the undoing of all electoral reforms looms ahead. This development is slowly confirming the utterances by Jonathan Moyo that ZANU PF will never reform itself out of power.
National Electoral Reforms Agenda (NERA) has since written to ZEC seeking clarification on this matter and the recent position by government to elbow out UNDP in the BVR procurement and deployment. ZEC is yet to formally respond to the same more than 8 days after receiving NERA’s letter. The ZEC-Political Parties Forum, has been meeting for the greater half of 2016 and considerable progress had been registered notably the creation of Political Parties Subcommittees to provide an oversight role to ZEC. To date 9 subcommittees have since been formed and constituted. The terms of reference have been deliberated upon and adopted. the subcommittees are; Mapping, Voter Education, Media and Publicity, Legal, Liaison, Political Parties Funding, Voter Registration (VR),
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All the political parties have expressed growing concern and fear that ZEC is headed towards aborting and will seek hide behind funding constraints. It evades logic and rationality, how ZEC has failed to prioritize this forum which was ultimately going to restore the confidence of the electorate into ZEC. NERA has always reiterated that ZEC was engaging in bad faith. The bulky of the resolutions from the forum have not yet been implemented. Last year the Forum was taken by surprise when ZEC and UNDP called for BVR kits without its consultation.
Earlier in February, ZEC commenced mapping and polling station verification exercise without the knowledge of the political parties. ZEC declined to assist political parties who wanted to be part of the exercise despite a Mapping Subcommittee have been in place. NERA condemns the insincerity of ZEC and government in implementing electoral reforms. The creation of the ZEC-Political Parties Dialogue (ZPPD) should never be exploited as a means to sanitize ZEC impurity and mislead the donor community into to unlock their safes.
We challenge ZEC to adhere to its constitutional mandate of creating a credible, free, peaceful and fair electoral environment. The complicity of ZEC in the recent government overtures in the electoral processes and systems should stop forthwith. NERA hopes ZEC will convene the ZPPD meetings urgently and expedite the operationalization of the long standing resolutions of this forum.
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