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Early elections will be another sham

by Jacob Mafume PDP Spokesperson
11 Sep 2017 at 12:56hrs | Views
Proclamation 6 of 2017 sets 14 September as the commencement voter registration ending on the 15th of January 2018, the PDP is of the view that the proclamation is premature.

We are of the view that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is not yet ready to conduct such a key exercise which will ultimately have implications on the integrity of the election as a whole.

As we speak ZEC has not completed the training process of those who are going to train the actual voter registration officers as a result ZEC will be forced to either crash the program compromising on the quality of work or continue with the training until its conclusion thereby eating into the time of registration.

In both ways there will be a disservice on the people of Zimbabwe who are supposed to be given an opportunity to exercise their right to elect those who govern them.

Section 155(2) of the constitution states that "The State must take all appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that effect is given to the principles set out in subsection (1) and, in particular, must-ensure that all eligible citizens, that is to say the citizens qualified under the Fourth Schedule, are registered as voters."

We are also aware that ZANUPF is contemplating an early election to cover for the uncertainties in their leadership.

The PDP will fight against an election called against the dictates of the law in this case the timing of an election set out in section 158 of the constitution.

"A general election must be held so that polling takes place not more than-thirty days before the expiry of the five-year period specified in section143"
The premature proclamation of the voter registration dates are an indicator of an intention to hold an early election.

We are of the view that the Electoral Commission is not ready for an early election, their weaknesses are there for everyone to see but more importantly the lessons of the past must embraced.

The 2013 election date was also a result of a premature proclamation, the result was that the Electoral Commission was unprepared and ran an election which was marred with irregularities.

The special voting process conducted by ZEC during the 2018 election was a dog's breakfast and a clear indication of running an election through unprepared individuals.

Zimbabwe has suffered a crisis of legitimacy owing to the failure by those responsible to hold free, fair and credible elections.  
We submit that proclamation 6 of 2017 is a step towards a disputed electoral outcome which will result in the extension of the crisis of legitimacy.

Voter registration is a cornerstone of any election, more importantly the voters roll was at the centre of the dispute of the previous election and other preceding elections.

It is therefore sensible for the process to be treated with due diligence for the sake of respecting the rights of the Zimbabwean people. We also submit that electoral sustainability forms a foundation of development of any modern society.

As of now signs are that ZEC is not ready, the Commission will therefore without doubt fail to start the registration process tomorrow as required by the proclamation.

The Commission's official website has not displayed any information pertaining to the roll out of the voter registration a clear indication that they are not yet ready to do so.

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Source - Jacob Mafume PDP Spokesperson