THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) welcomes the appointment of Justice Priscilla Chigumba as the new chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The appointment of a substantive chairperson of ZEC brings the required certainty in the running and supervision of crucial electoral processes, especially ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.
ZimRights urges the new ZEC chairperson to look into the issue of critical electoral reforms that are still pending with nearly seven months left to the harmonised elections.
The new ZEC chairperson must work tirelessly to affirm the independence and political impartiality of the electoral commission.
ZEC must enforce the code of conduct for political parties to eradicate malpractices such as voter intimidation, witnessed in the collection of serial numbers of registration slips from registered voters and public utterances of intimidation by politicians.
When the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) process ends on February 8, 2018, follow-up processes such as data storage on servers and production of the voter’s roll must be transparent to all political parties and stakeholders.
It is our hope as civil society that the new ZEC chairperson will adopt an inclusive and consultative approach to discharging her national duties.