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ZimRights director urges poll reforms before 2028 elections

by Staff reporter
08 Apr 2024 at 11:20hrs | Views
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) director Dzikamai Bere says the country should begin dialogue around bringing the much-desired electoral reforms to try and minimise the possibility of yet another disputed election in 2028.

In an interview, Bere said elections should also not be isolated from the causes of the national decay.

"The question of what needs to be done about elections in Zimbabwe should not be treated in a narrow way of just thinking that elections are disconnected from all the problems that Zimbabwe is facing," he said.

"Electoral power should be shifted to the electorate where it rightfully belongs and currently, it's captured by a few elite groups and individuals who use violence, bribery and cultism to control electoral outcomes.

"Let's have a dialogue as a nation towards a people's electoral pact and let's have communities lead in these conversations on what needs to be done before we even think of the next election," said the human rights defender.

Zimbabwe has successively produced disputed elections with Zanu-PF accused of using its proximity to state power to manipulate poll processes in its favour.

Critics say the country's chaotic polls are both an act of deliberate manipulation and incompetence by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

The August 23 elections last year received damning reports by international poll observers who said they did not reflect the true will of the people.

The poll was marred by delayed delivery of some key balloting material mostly in some opposition strongholds in Harare.

Bere acknowledged the resilience of Zimbabweans who have continued to take part in the country's elections irrespective of their attendant flaws.

ZimRights is preparing to release a report examining the factors influencing civic engagement with elections.

The report will also be an attempt by the rights group to amplify voices of various communities and to highlight the challenges faced by civic leaders in fostering participation.

Source - zimlive