THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says it will not entertain opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party’s calls for bilateral dialogue on electoral malpractices.
Last Wednesday, the CCC wrote to Zec demanding dialogue to address alleged electoral malpractices ahead of the 2023 polls.
The party submitted a dossier to the electoral body exposing its alleged influence on electoral theft that could jeopardise next year’s polls.
But Zec said it only recognised talks on electoral issues under the multi-party liaison committees.
“Electoral malpractices are an offence in terms of the Electoral Act. They can be corrected by making a report for investigation to police, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission where a docket should be opened for prosecution,” Zec spokesperson Jasper Mangwana tweeted.
“Alternatively, any aggrieved party is at liberty to approach the Electoral Court for redress. Zec is always open to dialogue with all its stakeholders using the multi-party liaison committees (MPLCs) which are decentralised to all 10 provinces and 63 districts.
“Zec does not meet individual stakeholders at the exclusion of others. MPLCs are the dialogue vehicle for electoral issues. Dialogue is a central part of @ZECzim mandate provided it is inclusive of all stakeholders.”
Mangwana later told NewsDay that it was very “rare” for an individual electoral stakeholder to have particular concerns that required bilateral dialogue without other parties.
“That is why we need to engage all parties. There is need for all those concerned parties to be aware of the issues that will be discussed for transparency,” Mangwana added.
But CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere insisted that there was no law that restricted Zec to engage in an exclusive dialogue with the party raising issues of concern.
“Zec is a constitutional commission that has a constitutional obligation to consult all stakeholders and receive complaints from the public and respond to them accordingly. They have a peremptory legal duty to address the concerns of the citizens whether in a bilateral or multilateral process.
“There is no law prohibiting it from engaging bilaterally on electoral concerns. This is the basis upon which we have engaged them and submitted a detailed dossier containing empirical and wide-ranging evidence of electoral manipulation which irregularities they have previously claimed they were unaware of.
“This is all in the spirit of driving the electoral reform agenda and ensuring that we do not have another disputed, problematic election in 2023,” Mahere said.
Zec recently dismissed vote-rigging allegations against Zanu PF and demanded that disgruntled parties should provide evidence.