ZEC declares zero tolerance to violence
Joseph Madzimure-Senior Reporter
AHEAD of this year elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has declared zero tolerance to violence and will engage all stakeholders to ensure free and fair elections whose outcome is acceptable to all.
Already ZEC has begun a massive voter registration blitz, the final exercise that will take place from 12 to 21 Mach.
Afterwards, ZEC will then engage political players and come up with the multi-party liaison committee for conflict resolution.
Speaking at a media briefing in Harare yesterday, ZEC deputy chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa said the voter registration blitz will be starting from 7am to 5pm for 10 days.
“We are going to be undertaking a blitz to make sure that every citizen who is qualified to be a voter, who is 18 years and above should be registered. Of course for us to get there we need publicity, we also need to educate our people as to what the blitz is all about.
“We need to inform the people where the registration exercise will be taking place, and inform them the time frame,” said Commissioner Kiwa.
He challenged political and traditional leaders to mobilise people to register to vote.
“We expect leaders at all levels be they traditional, political to help us mobilise the people to ensure many voters are registered. This is also an opportunity for voters who may wish to transfer their polling areas,” he said.
ZEC, Ambassador Kiwa said, is currently engaging in a number of activities ranging from procurement of material required for the voting process and recruitment of personnel involved in the voting process.
Currently, trainings to equip voter educators, voter registration officers and their supervisors is underway in preparation for the blitz.
“In the meantime we are involved in a number of activities ranging from procurement of material required for the voting process, recruitment of personal. We rely on secondment of personal from Public Service Commission.
“We are already engaging in training of trainers because not everybody who comes to us is familiar with the electoral process. We need to train them.
“Most of the people we are recruiting have been there before. It should be a fairly easier task but we need to adhere to strict timelines so that we are able to reach out to as far as possible so that no one is left behind in terms of the election preparation,” noted Ambassador Kiwa. Eligible voters will, however, still be able to register until two days after proclamation of the election date by President Mnangagwa.
“Registration is a continuous process, we will only stop two days after the proclamation after which we will then be in a position to clean up our voters register then be able to make it available, but that will be only after the proclamation,” he said.
The roadmap to elections, Ambassador Kiwa said, will be informed by the proclamation of election dates by President Mnangagwa.
ZEC, he said will soon activate the Multi-Party Liaison Committee for conflict resolution.
“We need to activate the multi-party liaison committee. The law requires us to put into practice so in a few days’ time we should be in a position to set up the multi-party liaison committee. These are the responsibilities clearly outlined in our electoral act. Elections are highly emotional, we need to work with the political parties to make sure that they advise and educate their voters how to carry themselves. We want to have the most peaceful election, because the outcome of the electoral process determines the integrity of the elections.
“We want the electoral process to be beyond any reproach but that can only happen if we get cooperation from stakeholders, from political leaders, civic society, traditional leaders and everyone who participates in the electoral process,” he said
ZEC has since tabled a $130 billion budget to conduct the polls, with Treasury expected to start disbursing the funds.