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Zec pushes for transparency

by Staff reporter
21 Aug 2019 at 07:50hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says it plans to rebrand and become more open and transparent to the public ahead of critical elections in 2023.

Speaking during a strategic meeting held in Harare yesterday, Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said they had retreated to map a strategic plan which should put emphasis on rebranding Zec, alignment of electoral laws and regulations to the Constitution, delimitation of boundaries and improvement in the electoral process such as stakeholder engagement and results transmission.

Results transmission and stakeholder engagement were big issues in the 2018 general elections, leading players in the election to cast a vote of no confidence on Zec.

Zec chief elections officer (CEO) Utoile Silaigwana, acutely aware of the burden of mistrust and the attendant results, told senior Zec officials and other stakeholders that he was going to create more transparency and engage stakeholders more openly.

"Accountability means that the electoral management body (EMB) is responsible for its activities and must provide evidence to its stakeholders and public that these activities are effective and meet its prescribed legal, ethical, service and financial standards. The principle of accounting requires the EMB's to provide comprehensive public information on their policies, intended outcome, performance and the resources they have used and intend to use including public and other funds," Silaigwana said.

The newly-appointed CEO said this would not only improve transparency and public trust, but would protect Zec from unfounded allegations.

"Transparency in our activities increases public trust and confidence in the EMB's operations and may protect it against unfounded allegations," he said.

Independent electoral watchdog Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) has been urging Zec to publish its elections calendar well in advance for accountability purposes.

In its election observer mission compendium, Zesn noted that it was critical for Zec to be transparent.

"The Zec should provide information on all stages of the electoral process in an easily accessible form including, Zec resolutions, data on the process of removing duplicates from the voters roll, (and releasing) all polling station results in a tabulated format, including the original V11 and V23a/b returns," part of the recommendations read.

At the retreat meeting, Zec acknowledged the recommendations and expressed desire to implement them.

Source - newsday

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