The Commission of Inquiry into the August 1, 2018 Post-Election Violence continued today with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba testifying before the commission.
Justice Chigumba said political parties with legislators in parliament should use their tenure to change the laws which they feel impede on the electoral process.
Justice Chigumba said her vilification by the opposition MDC Alliance is well-documented, despite the electoral body discharging its duties in terms of the law, which was confirmed by various court orders.
The ZEC boss says the electoral body has done a postmortem of the elections and a draft report is ready containing recommendations on how to improve the conducting of polls in Zimbabwe in future.
She pledged to furnish the commission with the draft report.
Asked whether as ZEC they would be willing to recommend that presidential election results be announced as they come constituency by constituency or ward by ward, Justice Chigumba said the duty of ZEC is purely to administer the laws regarding elections.
Justice Chigumba said multi-liaison committees which ZEC tried to use in terms of the law to engage political parties were constantly disrupted and the electoral body ended up abandoning them.
“Attempts at dialogue with political parties were always hitting a brick wall…,” said Justice Chigumba.
Justice Chigumba said ZEC is also consulting the SADC Electoral Forum and other regional electoral bodies to see how they can deal with the lack of trust within elections’ stakeholders as well as to improve the conduct of elections in Zimbabwe.
She gave an example of how she has been in touch with the Zambian electoral commission, to share notes on how they run their polls.
Asked whether she thinks the army killed the civilians who died, Justice Chigumba said she only learnt of what was happening from the media.
“…I wasn’t there…yes the media said the army killed, people were shot from the back….,” she said.
The ZEC chair revealed that most of the results for Harare province came last, as there were a lot of verifications needed before their announcement.
Director Legal Services in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Never Katiyo was next to testify. He spoke about the need for the safeguarding of peace so as not to derail re-engagement efforts by the government, adding that the country’s economic revival efforts were dented following the August 1 violence which claimed 6 lives.