GOVERNMENT is putting final touches on amendments to the Electoral Act, with the adjustments set for completion in two weeks, while progress has also been made on the Patriotic Bill.
The Electoral Act amendments come after 223 recommendations were proffered by various local, regional, and international Election Observer Missions (EOMs) that witnessed Zimbabwe’s 2018 harmonised elections.
Of the 223 recommendations, 115 have been streamlined to cover several themes including; electoral and legislative framework, election administration, media coverage, the conduct of civic and voter education, holding of inclusive elections, polling, election observation, results management and electoral justice.
The Patriotic Bill, which was pushed by parliamentarians will see citizens who campaign for continued imposition of sanctions or those whose actions are against the country’s national interest, being penalised. The Bill was proposed following calls for more sanctions by opposition activists.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told The Sunday Mail that the Attorney General had since been tasked to invite more drafters to expedite the bills.
“We have had shortages of drafters and that has delayed the finalisation of our bills but we have since directed the Attorney General to get some drafters on a contract basis so that we expedite the drafting of these bills. So I think within the next two weeks we should have completed the exercise.
“This is now working progress and we understand that this is urgent and should be finalised,” he said.
Turning to civil society organisations spreading the narrative that Zimbabwe is not a peaceful country due to past issues such as the Gukurahundi disturbances of the 1980s, Minister Ziyambi said:
“Government is of the view that some Civil Society Organisations or Non-Governmental Organisations are trying to find relevance by uttering reckless statements that create divisions. However, to state that the country is not at peace because of lingering legacy issues is outrageous and deserves contempt from all progressive Zimbabweans,” he said.
Government, said Minister Ziyambi, is not averse to exhumations and reburials of Gukurahundi victims.
He said these will be conducted in terms of wishes of their families.
“The people themselves, the families and the communities shall determine whether or not they require exhumations. Government will only provide technical and financial support where required,” he said.
— Sunday Mail