Call to expeditiously appoint new ZEC Chairperson key to successful implementation of electoral processes

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) notes the resignation of Justice Rita Makarau as Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The resignation of Justice Makarau comes at a critical time in Zimbabwe’s electoral cycle with key electoral processes such as the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) blitz underway. ZESN calls upon the government to expedite the appointment of the new ZEC chairperson in line with Section 238 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, to ensure that there is ample time to acclimatize to the new position and oversee key electoral processes before the next elections.

ZESN calls for the revitalization of electoral governance to strengthen the independence of ZEC and avail adequate resources to ensure that the Commission manages its own budget independent of government control. The availing of adequate resources to ZEC will ensure that key electoral processes are completed in time before the elections are held. It is imperative that ZEC be institutionally independent from the executive and exercise full responsibility for implementation. ZESN reiterates its position that the Parliament of Zimbabwe be accorded the oversight role over the Electoral Commission in order to ensure that its independence is not undermined through executive interference.

ZESN commends the extension of the BVR blitz to phase 1 and 2 areas by ZEC and calls for similar arrangements in phase 3 and 4 areas to ensure that the target of 7 million is reached and to cater for the ‘Aliens’ who could not be registered before the Court ruling. The ongoing Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) process should enable all those who qualify as citizens as provided in the Constitution of Zimbabwe to register without hindrances. The implementation of electoral reforms, an independent electoral commission headed by a professional individual with unquestionable integrity to chair the ZEC are essential for the holding of future credible elections.

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)