Lack of transparency threatens credibility of 2018 elections: ZimRights


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The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has expressed concern about the government’s attempt to block transparency in the running of the 2018 harmonised elections.
This week, leader of the government business in the National Assembly and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Hon. Zyambi Ziyambi, opposed a motion by the opposition MDC-T for open tendering of ballot papers and indelible ink.
ZimRights said such promotion of secretiveness in procurement of election material dents the credibility of the 2018 election and make claims of electoral fraud strong, while setting the country on a path to disputed outcome.
“Rejection of transparent procurement of ballot papers and indelible ink is in contradiction of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s pledge to hold free, fair and credible elections as stipulated by the Constitution, making the ruling party’s sincerity on this promise highly questionable.
“It is unfortunate that the rejection of transparency on ballot papers comes after the ruling party Zanu-PF has been seen abusing State resources and institutions in its primary elections where police officers acted as polling officers and military helicopters transported election material,” ZimRights said in a statement.
The State media has also continued to conduct itself in a manner unmistakably biased in favour of the ruling party, while churning hostile reportage against the main opposition parties and their candidates.
In a manner that violates the Constitution, traditional leaders including President of the Chiefs Council Fortune Charumbira have been making statement that either declare their allegiance to the ruling party or denigrate the opposition, while the government has been obliging them with new vehicles.
During the recent Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), registered voters have had visits from people asking them the serial numbers of their voter registration certificates in a manner meant to compromise their personal security and intimidate them.
“Under such an environment and without any serious reforms, it is becoming difficult and unlikely that Zimbabwe will hold a free, fair and credible election within the next two months.
All the identified malpractices grossly and openly violate Zimbabwe’s Constitution, SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
“ZimRights calls upon President Mnangagwa to deliver on his promise for free, fair and credible elections, which to date has been limited to mere utterances at home and international fora not at all matched by concrete actions on the ground.”