RIGGING PERCEPTION HAUNTS ZEC
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has revealed that public perception that the electoral body rigs elections is one of its biggest challenges ahead of the coming elections.
The electoral body revealed this on information posted in its website under Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. Zec said the negative perceptions were affecting confidence among its stakeholders.
“What does the Commission regard as its top three challenges (in relation to its operations, as well as preparations for 2018)? The top three challenges Zec faces are as follows: Falsehoods and negative perceptions that Zec rigs elections thereby reducing the stakeholder confidence in the electoral process. Polarised society and funding,” it said.
The country will go for the polls between July 21 and August 21. The electoral body said another frequently asked question is the Zec’s position regarding diasporans’ right to vote which is guaranteed in the country’s Constitution.
“Section 67 of the Zimbabwean Constitution grants every Zimbabwean citizen, including those in the diaspora, prisoners and those in hospitals the right to vote. However, implementing this right is not easy in the absence of requisite resources and resultant logistical challenges faced when executing the exercise,” reads the statement.
Zec said the media is compelled to impartially report on elections and Zec is constitutionally expected to monitor media coverage during the election period.
“It is important to take note that the Commission is required by law to set up a Media Monitoring Committee only during an election period. Outside the election period, it has no power to regulate the media or to ensure its impartiality,” reads the statement.
Zec defined the election period as starting from the date of the proclamation of an election to the date of the announcement of the results.
On matters regarding political violence, Zec said it is guided by the law on how such incidents should be addressed.
“Zec will continue to educate the electorate on these issues. In addition, Zec engages parties through Multiparty Liaison Committees which are set up soon after the Nomination Courts right through to polling. Aggrieved parties may also approach the courts for recourse. The composition of Multi-party Liaison Committees is made by legal provision,” said Zec.