Electoral watchdog, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has called on government to create a conducive political environment through alignment of all electoral laws with the Constitution.
In a statement released on Friday last week to commemorate the International Day of Democracy, ZESN expressed concern over the slow pace and piecemeal alignment of the country’s laws to the constitution saying the delays threatens the entrenchment of democratic values that are enshrined in the constitution.
“ZESN notes that the theme (Democracy and Conflict Prevention) is apt given that Zimbabwe is set to begin the Bio-metric Voter Registration exercise for the 2018 harmonized elections.
“As such, there is need to expedite the implementations of political, legislative and administrative reforms to guarantee the respect and enjoyment of universal suffrage and fundamental freedoms.
“On this day, ZESN reiterates its calls for the right to vote as enshrined in the Constitution to be enjoyed by all eligible citizens including those in hospitals and prisons,” noted ZESN.
The electoral lobby group added that government and relevant authorities should put in place mechanisms and legal reforms to address issues of voter intimidation, violence, and hate speech, vote buying and inability of opposition parties and candidates to freely campaign among others.
ZESN called for the setting up of effective electoral justice mechanisms to address complaints and offer adjudication of electoral related violations saying this will enhance the enjoyment of electoral rights as well as serve as a deterrent to the perpetuation of violations thus furthering peace and democracy in Zimbabwe.