ZEC is not consulting stakeholders: MDC Alliance

ZEC is not consulting stakeholders: MDC Alliance
ZEC is not consulting stakeholders: MDC Alliance

By Shamiso Ndangana

MDC Alliance says it is worried that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is not consulting stakeholders in its processes as required by Section 160 and 161 of the Constitution.

ZEC which suspended electoral processes last year due to COVID-19, has begun preparation for 2023 elections.

Some of the processes include mapping and delimitation of constituencies.

However, the election body is said to be acting alone and not engaging the necessary stakeholders such as politic parties.

Speaking in an interview on OpenParly In-depth, MDC Alliance deputy secretary for Elections Ellen Shiriyedenga said engagement with ZEC remains key as there are still unresolved issues dating back from 2013.

“This is why we say as political parties we need to constantly engage with ZEC, to say ZEC we have had these pending issues since 2013. Pending issues from the year 2000, for example the issues of vote buying in rural areas. The use of state resources in influencing the political outcome. And even the procurement of electoral materials like the ballot papers and staff like that.

“Those are the same issues that need to be discussed because we don’t want a repeat of the 2018 situation were as political parties particularly the MDC speaking for ourselves, we complained a lot about irregularities.

“We haven’t debated them, and we haven’t discussed that so now that we did not discuss about that, what can stop them from recurring again in the 2023 elections. This is why we feel it is important that we political parties we should play a role in engaging ZEC,” she said.

ZEC is not following the Constitution

Shiriyedenga added that the constitution requires ZEC to consult election stakeholders, but it has not been doing so.

“Section 160 and 161 of the constitution speaks about the aspect of the electoral management body consulting stakeholders with regards to delimitation particularly their aspirations and how the process should be done.

“So, I was thinking that before the process commences there should be that engagement with the stakeholders but that has not been done. The only engagement that we have seen so far is the press statement and that radio program indicating that a mapping exercise has taken place, but the challenge is that what is the road map and who is going to conduct the delimitations.”

ZEC is not consulting stakeholders: MDC Alliance