Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government will amend the Electoral Act by mid next year in line with recommendations made by observer missions during last year’s harmonised elections, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo has said.
Minister Moyo said this last week while addressing business leaders at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House.
The electoral reforms are part of Government efforts in transforming the political and economic environments, as it seeks to entrench democratic values and freedoms in line with Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income economy.
They are also in line with the New Dispensation’s pledge to incorporate views of other players into different laws that affect society and open up the democratic space as part of enhancing good governance.
“It is also our expectation that further amendments to the electoral law arising from recommendations made by the various Election Observer Missions will be completed, at the very latest, by June 2020, although we aim to complete electoral reforms well before that date,” said Minister Moyo.
Government has since established an inter-ministerial taskforce on political and electoral reforms chaired by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.
Minister Ziyambi is deputised by Minister Moyo, while other members of the committee include Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa; Home Affairs and Cultural Affairs Minister Cain Mathema; State Security Minister Owen Ncube; Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu; Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube and Attorney- General Prince Machaya.
The setting up of the committee is in compliance with the Motlanthe Commission report on the August 1 post-election disturbances that claimed six lives in Harare.
Parliament has also ratified the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as a roadmap to encourage better governance across the continent.
Minister Moyo said other key political reforms included the restructuring of the security sector as part of the implementation of recommendations put forward by the Motlanthe Commission, adding that the process of consultation was well advanced.
He said political dialogue between political players who participated in last year’s harmonised elections had also started.
President Mnangagwa wants all parties to participate in the dialogue process, but MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has boycotted the dialogue.
He has indicated that all other parties are too small and didn’t deserve to be on the dialogue platform, which he wants to feature Zanu-PF and his party only.
Other political parties have since called on Mr Chamisa to take the dialogue seriously if his party has the country at heart, and not play to whims of their foreign handlers.