MUTARE– Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) have reportedly engaged the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission with a view to adopting a Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC) model law on national elections.
Speaking during a provincial peace committee capacity building exercise on conflict management, resolution and transformation in Mutare, NPRC commissioner Patience Chiradza, said they view the move as a positive stride on the part of government.
“SADC has come up with a model law on elections and one of the issues that are particular in that model law is the issue of conflict management around elections, which a focus on preventing conflict before it happens.
“So we are working on a program to share notes mainly targeted at political parties and other stakeholders within the election cycle, we are working on a program where the political parties as the main actors give input.
“We have been invited by Parliament to give our input as NPRC, so they are the one who are leading this discussion and they invited us as stakeholders to give our input and we believe that they are a step ahead.
“Generally they wanted our input on the issues around conflict resolution together with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, we are also sitting through the multi-party liaison which is now sitting in twelve months before the election.
“Comparatively our parliament is a step ahead if we look at how other countries are doing in terms of adopting this framework, but maybe as a commission, this is a process that we need to watch to ensure that government does not relax,” said Chiradza.
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) model law on elections was adopted by the regional bloc in 2018 with a broad mandate of providing principles for elections, including an all stakeholder post-election evaluation.
This is ‘a tool that will assist SADC member states to incorporate provisions of the revised SADC Principles and guidelines governing democratic elections and other regional election instruments into national legislation and policy’.