The Election Resource Centre (ERC) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Human Rights which is running under the theme: Equality: Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights. The day provides Zimbabwe with an opportunity to review the state of democracy and human rights including electoral rights at all levels. This days comes at a time when the Government of Zimbabwe has signed the instruments of ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG). The ACDEG, if fully implemented, can potentially feed into the democratic trajectory of Zimbabwe.
ERC continues to push for the by-elections to be held. Elections are the bedrock of participatory democracy, and the continued suspension of by-elections infringes on citizens human rights. The increased intolerance of differing views and political violence which has in more recent times led to the death of one Nyasha Mawere is also another cause for concern. As we celebrate the International Day of Human Rights, all Zimbabweans across the political divide must reflect on the current state of affairs in the country particularly the inequalities perpetuated by lack of implementation of the Constitution as well as the deficits compounded by lack of reforms to improve the electoral and political environment.
For the full attainment of democracy in Zimbabwe, the ERC recommends the following:
To the government of Zimbabwe:
- The immediate implementation of electoral reforms
- The lifting of the suspension of by- elections
- Ensure that the ratification is followed by the timely depositing of the Charter (ACDEG) with the AU Commission for Zimbabwe to become a full State Party to the Charter.
To political parties:
- Political tolerance across the political divide
- Shunning violence from grassroots level through public proclamation by party leadership
- To shun political and electoral violence in communities.
- To fully participate in electoral processes as guaranteed and protected by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
- To document and report malpractices and violations of rights including electoral related rights.
The ERC takes this time to remember all Human Rights Defenders who passed away this year.
Source: Election Resource Centre