|No law governs Zim referendums — ZEC chief|
|Saturday, 30 June 2012 13:40|
THERE is no law that governs the holding of referendums in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman Retired Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe has said.
Justice Mutambanengwe said the current Referendums Act was promulgated in 2000 for the referendum held that year and was now invalid for future referendums.
“The conduct of referendums is now the function of the commission and therefore there is a need for the Act to be amended first before the referendum can be held.”
“The commission has held discussions with the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs (Eric Matinenga), who is responsible for administering the Referendums Act, to discuss possible amendments to the Act.
“Strides are being made to ensure that once Copac has completed its work, ZEC will be able to step in and take over by conducting the referendum.”
“The committee discussed it and said they wanted more clarification on certain aspects and we are still in possession of those principles.
“The (current) Act is invalid and this calls for action. It’s a matter of days to complete the amendments or come up with the Act that is if the people in charge of the process are serious.
Meanwhile, Justice Mutambanengwe said ZEC was ready to hold elections and had been making “fervent” preparations for the conduct of the referendum and subsequently elections.
“The referendum needs US$80 million, while the rest is for elections. The budget is an initial budget because the Referendums Bill, if passed into law, may have provisions that have financial implications on the commission, which also needs budgeting.
Zimbabweans, Justice Mutambanengwe said, should inspect the voters’ roll and advise the Registrar-General of any transfers or deaths.
“ZEC is not partisan as some people purport. The commission consists of members who went through a rigorous Parliamentary interview and were selected from a list of 12 nominees submitted to the President by the Parliamentary Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.
The meeting also explored ways of building synergies in managing conflict.