Election Resource Centre (ERC) executive director Babra Ontibile Bhebhe has expressed concern over the secrecy by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) regarding handling of election results in the upcoming elections.
Zimbabwe will hold elections either in a few months either in July or August this year. The election management body has kept stakeholders in the dark in regard to results management.
During the last harmonized elections held in 2018 the results management raised a lot of eyebrows. A situation which led people into the street demanding for the release of the presidential election results.
Results management during is about counting of votes, tabulating and announcement of election results. Experts say results management may make or break an election.
Unfortunately, innocent lives were lost when the military intervened to quell the civilian protests.
Bhebhe bemoans lack of communication.
Speaking during a webinar series organized by the Southern Africa Political Economy Series (SAPES) and the Research Advocacy Unit (RAU) entitled -What is the role of international observers in the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe-Bhebhe maintained that ZEC had not shared information about results management.
“While we have seen a bit of improvement based on the by-elections with regard to the management of results on the local level, we are yet to see how this is going to play out at the national level.
“We currently do not know how ZEC is going to manage the results.
“They have not yet come up in the open to say how they are going to manage the results process.
“Especially in light of the disputes that surrounded the management of results in the 2018 elections,” she said.
In 2018, regional and local observers recommended that ZEC reviews the mode of transmitting the results in order to quicken the release of election results.
Additionally, emphasis was made on alteration of results in the presence of party agents and observers.
During the delimitation exercise stakeholders accused ZEC of keeping the road map a secret.