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New ZEC chair takes oath, vows to deliver free and fair elections

 

02/02/2018 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
 
 
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Newly appointed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba says she will deliver a credible, free and fair election this year.

Chigumba, who replaced Justice Rita Makarau, hinted that Zimbabwe will hold the elections before June as ZEC is mandated by the constitution to hold the election around that period.

In her message to journalists after being sworn in by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House on Thursday, Chigumba promised to resolve the issues before the elections are held.

“It is a great honour and privilege to be asked to serve as ZEC chairperson. I want to promise Zimbabweans that I will deliver a free and fair credible election. Certainly, we will look into the questions and issues raised because it is our intention to deliver a free, fair and credible election.

“ZEC is an administrative body emanating from the Constitution and the Electoral Act. My mandate as an umpire is to make sure there is fairness in the process of electing leaders by the people. It is a clear mandate that I intend to discharge fully.

“The commission’s doors are open for those who want to come and engage us,” said Chigumba.

Since the start of the biometric voter registration exercise last year, opposition political parties, NGOs, churches, political activists and individuals have voiced their concerns over the discrepancies which arose from the build-up to the new voter’s roll.

There have been reports of Zanu PF activists demanding voter registration slips, lack of education to potential voters by ZEC as well as intimidation of villagers by the army in rural areas.

Recently, the mop up BVR exercise extension, according to Election Resource Centre, revealed that the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede’s office had denied people the right to register as voters.

 

During former President Robert Mugabe’s rule, ZEC was routinely accused of bias and Chigumba is yet to prove the impartiality of the electoral body.

 



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