By Staff Reporter
THE National Electoral Reforms Agenda (NERA) convener and FORUS political party leader Manyara Muyenziwa says Zimbabweans must hold the Judiciary and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) accountable for contested elections.
Zimbabwe’s 2023 August harmonised elections were described as “a sham” that did not meet international standards by several observer mission reports including SADC and the European Union (EU)
The EU later withdrew its funding from ZEC citing several irregularities.
Addressing the opposition political parties that signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NERA to push for electoral reforms that will allow for “future free and fair elections”, Muyenziwa said losing political parties ignored the SADC Elections Observer Mission EOM) Final Report on Zimbabwe Elections.
“We had SADC coming in after the elections, putting in their effort. What did we do with that? What needed to be done after the final report came out?
“We had some lamentations on the past election; was it free and fair, hence we need to look at how we can tackle the lack of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, hence the formation of NERA. What is the process of the aftermath of what we are crying for that needs to be changed?” Muyenziwa asked.
She stressed that Zimbabweans did not act on the SADC EOM final report for several reasons, including a lack of understanding of the electoral processes and how to deal with them.
“We had the coming in of SADC putting in their effort. What did we do with its effort? How could we bring up solutions that can forge solutions, leading to a constitution which will eradicate any issues we have as a nation?”
“Was there a claimant within the constitution that stipulated seven days after the announcement of any election result, is it something proper, is the time enough for such processes?
“There is the need to look at things such as the court processes and what documentation is needed to be submitted to court. All Zimbabweans should be involved in such processes. We do not throw away the Report that SADC has given as an artefact standing out there.
“We need to unpack all the pages of information and recommendations so that we can hold ZEC and the Judiciary to accountability and have constructive criticism in the way the electoral process needs to be run” she lamented.
The political parties set out to solidify electoral reforms raised by NERA amid political-economic turmoil in Zimbabwe.
The main opposition political party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) did not attend the signing ceremony.