Election advocacy group, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) has called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to take advantage of the by-elections proclaimed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to implement administrative reforms that do not require the legislature or the executive to take effect.
While welcoming the proclamation, ERC called on the electoral body to proclaim the outstanding local authority by elections according to the law.
“ERC would like to urge the electoral commission to take the opportunity of the 26 of March 2022 by-elections to implement the administrative reforms that do not require the legislature or the executive to take effect. Particularly all the elements that ensure that the electoral processes are more transparent and open i.e inclusion of stakeholders in the processes, availing the voters roll and other materials openly.
“The Election Resource Centre (ERC) welcomes proclamation 26 March 2022 as the day for by- elections through Statutory Instrument 1 of 2022 by the President of Zimbabwe. The SI 1 of 2022 orders election to fill vacant parliamentary seats as provided for in section 38 of the Electoral Act.
“The ERC has long maintained that the Statutory Instrument 225A of 2020 which had suspended by-elections was illegal. Essentially, this explains the President’s proclamation of by-elections, setting aside SI225A of 2020. The ERC now calls on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to proclaim the outstanding local authority by-elections according to Electoral Act Section 121 (1) b) (ii),” ERC said.
The advocacy group called on stakeholders to agree on a roadmap to electoral reforms in relation to issues raised in the controversial 2018 harmonised elections.
“Conclusively, we urge the ZEC, Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Government of Zimbabwe, Civics and Political Parties to critically reflect and agree on a roadmap on electoral reforms especially issues raised by the 2018 harmonized local and international election observer missions. The scheduled by-elections must be used as a measure to test the country’s preparedness for a free, fair and credible election in the upcoming 2023 Harmonized elections. Therefore, there is an urgent need to implement electoral reforms,” said the advocacy group
By-elections for both local authorities and legislature will take place on March 26, 2022 with nomination courts set to sit on January 26.