Election rigging fears mount in Zimbabwe as Zanu PF rejects calls for electoral reforms


There are unmistakable signs that results of the forthcoming general elections could be contested once again after Zanu PF’s rivals raised alarm over the ruling party’s refusal to allow key aspects of the electoral process to be done openly to remove rigging fears.

Tension is likely to brew between Zanu-PF and MDC after the ruling party’s Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday refused the MDC’s proposal to legislate, through the Electoral Amendment Bill, for an open tender for the procurement of ballot papers.

Through its chief whip Innocent Gonese had tabled before Parliament proposals that sought to diffuse suspicious hobbling Zimbabwe’s electoral processes.

In a move that can trigger suspicion of ‘rigging’ by the ruling party was, the MPs justified their strand arguing that it was not in line with the current provisions of the country’s procurement regulations.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi who told the august House disclosed that.

“I reject that. It is already covered by the Procurement Act. We cannot talk of another law that deviates from an existing law. This provision is problematic to accept. We can not violate our procurement laws to say we want more than 200 political parties to see where the ballot papers are printed,” said Minister Ziyambi.

Responding to Gonese who is one of the initiators he said.

“Honourable Gonese is fuelling things that are not there. There is reconciliation of ballot papers before and after voting by all players,” said Minister Ziyambi.

He added that the Government was committed to free, fair and credible elections and that is why it allowed all stakeholders to submit their proposals on the Bill, which initially had a limited scope to give effect to the new Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system. Initially, the legal underpinning to the process was covered by a Statutory Instrument, which had a six-month lifespan.

It is also reported that Minister Ziyambi again rejected proposals by the MDC-T to allow the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to act as election monitors during the elections. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), he said, was mandated to accredit observers, and not monitors.

“Besides, ZHRC has a constitutional role, which does not require it to be accredited. Nobody can stand in its way. If they want to monitor human rights, they can continue doing that as they do not need to go to ZEC because that is its constitutional role,” said Minister Ziyambi.

– DailyNews

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