INDEPENDENT electoral watchdog, Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (Zesn) has warned that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) could be violating sections of the Electoral Act by denying opposition parties access to crucial information on production and security of the ballot papers ahead of this year’s general elections.
Section 52 A of the Electoral Act mandates Zec to be transparent on all electoral-related matters to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders.
“Zec must without delay provide all electoral stakeholders on where and by whom the ballot papers for the elections are being printed,” read part of the Act.
Zesn warned that anything short of that requirement could lead to disputed election results.
“Zesn believes that adherence to the tenets of an open data policy by the commission will enhance on the integrity and transparency in the administration of electoral processes whose outcomes are acceptable to contesting political parties, interest groups and the electorate,” Zesn said.
MDC-T elections secretary, Murisi Zwizwai yesterday said Zec has not been handy with that information and the use of the direct tender to secure the ballot papers instead of open tender was against the spirit and letter of the Act.
Zwizwai said they understood that the ballot will be printed by Fidelity Printers, saying the government company could not be trusted and there was need for an open tender to decide where the papers will be secured and who would print the ballots.
The MDC-T has vowed to stop any election which is not free and fair saying they would not allow Zimbabwe to be dragged into another shame poll.