ERC and ZESN Deploying Observers for 26 March By-Elections

As part of their commitment to support democratic development and promote credible, transparent, and accountable electoral processes in Zimbabwe, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) will deploy approximately 400 trained and accredited observers across 28 constituencies to observe the 26 March By-Elections. ERC and ZESN will use complementary observation methodologies to provide citizens and key stakeholders with accurate, independent, timely, and credible information on the election process. Further, ERC and ZESN seek to ensure that these elections are transparent, inclusive, and accountable and will observe on a nonpartisan basis for all Zimbabweans.

ERC and ZESN observers were carefully recruited from local communities following strict criteria and adhering to gender balance. These observers underwent a thorough training program on the conduct of the elections, direction on what to observe, and when to report on Election Day. Additionally, observers signed a code of conduct acknowledging that they were non-partisan. ZESN and ERC will produce statements, based on the verified reports of observers on the opening and set up of polling places as well as voting, closing and counting procedures.

During the pre-election period ERC and ZESN reported issues of intimidation, violence, and partisan activities of state and traditional leaders. Ahead of the 26 March By-Elections, ERC and ZESN call on all key stakeholders, including political parties, security actors, and voters to contribute to respect and uphold the political rights of all individuals which are enshrined in Section 67 of the Constitution including the right to make political choices freely and the right to vote in all elections and to do so in secret on election day.

ERC and ZESN recognise the unique contribution that all electoral stakeholders need to make in order for the 26 March by-elections to be successful and therefore urges the security forces to discharge their duties professionally and political parties to refrain from using language that may incite violence. The ZEC is urged to administer the electoral day process in a manner that further promotes confidence and trust in the electoral process.

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network

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