Peaceful resolution to current political impasse crucial to ensuring democratic electoral processes in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a coalition of 32 Non-Governmental Organizations whose mandate is the promotion of democratic electoral processes in Zimbabwe, notes the prevailing political impasse in the country. Guided by its vision of a Zimbabwe where democratic electoral processes are upheld, ZESN calls for inclusive dialogue to resolve this political impasse.

ZESN is concerned with the prevailing situation that has fueled a lot of uncertainty especially given that the country is undertaking one of the most critical electoral processes, the Biometric Voter Registration exercise, ahead of the scheduled 2018 harmonized elections. A complete, accurate and current voters’ roll is key in enhancing the credibility of the next elections.

Cognizant of the importance of holding free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe, it is imperative that peaceful resolutions are agreed upon by all key stakeholders detailing key steps towards ensuring the preservation of constitutionalism with a clear election roadmap that guarantees the enjoyment of fundamental political rights and freedoms as well as the embracing of electoral reforms.

ZESN reiterates its calls for comprehensive electoral reforms to enable citizens to freely participate in electoral processes and the governance of the country on the basis of the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law and good governance. Key among the reforms, the Network restates its calls for the creation of a conducive political environment devoid of violence, coercion and intimidation guaranteeing the full enjoyment of fundamental human rights. An effective electoral dispute resolution mechanism that responds to potential conflicts and disputes before, during and after an election, be put in place.

ZESN believes that the alignment of key laws to the constitution such as the Electoral Act is crucial in ensuring that elections in Zimbabwe are credible and are held under a framework that guarantees the respect of the will of the people. Furthermore, institutions supporting democracy such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should be strengthened to ensure its independence in managing electoral processes including results management.

ZESN continues to closely observe and monitor the unfolding political developments in Zimbabwe and remains fully committed to its mandate of promoting democratic elections. At this critical time in the history of Zimbabwe, ZESN calls for calm and peace amongst the citizens as efforts to resolve and reach an amicable solution continue.

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)

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