Chamisa’s MDC Presses For Electoral Reforms As Chigumba Meets Political Parties

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By Thandiwe Garusa

THE Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has vowed to put pressure on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to implement all the necessary reforms ahead of the March by-elections.

ZEC, Thursday met with all political parties in Harare to craft an election road map ahead of the by-elections. The meeting was chaired by the electoral body chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba.

Suspended Harare Mayor and MDC Alliance local government secretary, Jacob Mafume told after the meeting, that during the interaction, his party submitted several issues they want to be implemented before elections are held.

Zimbabwe is set to hold parliamentary and local council by-elections on 26 March ahead of the 2023 national plebiscite.

“The issues that we put to ZEC are around access to public media because this is a campaign, issues of publicity around the registration blitz, the capacity and funding to carry out the blitz,” Mafume said.

“And also the consultative and monitoring processes that will happen around delimitation and also the issue around  voter education and equitable access to the public media and the enforcement of the codes of conduct in relation to the behaviour of political parties and candidates.”

The MDC Alliance is also demanding for the electoral reforms to pass through Parliament for scrutiny before they are passed into law.

“We also spoke about the need for input into the electoral reforms and that they pass through Parliament. We are proposing that the Electoral Act be realigned to the Constitution.”

Mafume added: “We are going to ensure that all the reforms are met, otherwise the credibility of the whole process is brought into question.

“ZEC was outlining its processes and procedures, its readiness in terms of preparation towards by-elections, its annual plan towards delimitation.

“They will outline a programme, which they will give us on Monday on the processes and stages that they will go through to get to the registration blitz, by-elections, delimitations as the key focus areas for this year in relation to ZEC activities.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Justice Chigumba said the engagement was on finding common ground on the election road map.

“The agenda of the meeting was to share information about nomination court procedures, road maps, and voter registration blitz,” she said.

“After the nomination court, successful candidates will engage the commission in relation to public media. We also encourage Zimbabweans to come in their number and register to vote.”