Release Comprehensive Election Calendar, ZEC Urged

The country’s leading elections lobby group, Election Resource Centre (ERC) has called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to expeditiously release a comprehensive election calendar to enable stakeholders to effectively map their plans and strategies.

In a statement released on Sunday, ERC said the finalization of the tender process through a recent court ruling to uphold the awarding of a tender for the supply of de-duplication software and hardware should pave way for the release of the voters roll.

“ERC believes that finalization of the tender process paves way for the creation of clear timelines for the conclusion of the compilation of the Voters’ Roll.

“Further, the recent development provides the Commission with an opportunity to immediately release a comprehensive election operational plan which stakeholders can use to hold the Election Management Body accountable.

“Release of the operational plan will also enable stakeholders, particularly political parties and civil society, to develop informed strategies to mobilize citizen participation and election observation and monitoring,” noted ERC.

The electoral lobby group urged ZEC to release the first draft to allow inspection and audits to commence.

ERC called for the immediate release of a comprehensive operational timeline to guide the holding of free and fair elections.

With the 2018 harmonized elections barely five months away, ZEC has not moved with speed to outline its plan of action. This is despite the fact that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured the country of a free and fair plebiscite, something that could work in ZEC’s favor considering that they are battling against low citizens’ trust. The new ZEC Chairperson, Priscilla Chigumba has also came out promising to deliver a free and fair election.

The Administrative Court recently upheld a decision by ZEC to award a New York based company, IPSIDY Inc a tender to supply software and hardware for de-duplication of the voters roll.

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