Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) commemorates the International Day of Democracy with a call for the Government of Zimbabwe to create a conducive political environment and for the alignment of all electoral laws with the Constitution.
ZESN is concerned that the slow pace and piecemeal alignment of the country’s laws to the constitution threatens the entrenchment of democratic values that are enshrined in the constitution.
Commemorated annually on 15 September, the International Day of Democracy is this year being celebrated under the theme “Democracy and Conflict Prevention ” which provides an opportunity for the government to strengthen democratic institutions to foster democracy, peace and stability as well as improve conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms.
ZESN notes that the theme is apt given that Zimbabwe is set to begin the Biometric Voter Registration exercise for the 2018 harmonized elections. As such, there is need to expedite the implementations of political, legislative and administrative reforms to guarantee the respect and enjoyment of universal suffrage and fundamental freedoms. On this day, ZESN reiterates its calls for the right to vote as enshrined in the Constitution to be enjoyed by all eligible citizens including those in hospitals and prisons.
In addition, ZESN calls upon the government and relevant authorities to put in place mechanisms and legal reforms to address issues of voter intimidation, violence, and hate speech, vote buying and inability of opposition parties and candidates to freely campaign among others.
ZESN believes that the setting up of effective electoral justice mechanisms to address complaints and offer adjudication of electoral related violations will enhance the enjoyment of electoral rights as well as serve as a deterrent to the perpetuation of violations thus furthering peace and democracy in Zimbabwe.
ZESN remains committed to promoting democratic elections in Zimbabwe.