The results of the House of Assembly and Senate elections were also released
at a painfully slow pace. This has understandably generated a hive of
rumours, speculation, fears and nervousness among the stakeholders, and in
the nation and international community.
At the centre of the mystery is the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), a
constitutional body mandated to conduct elections and referendums
efficiently, freely, fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law.
It is the CCJP’s understanding that this mandate includes but is not
restricted to ensuring that the results of the elections are made public to
the contesting parties and to the nation as a whole as expeditiously as
possible, that is, within reasonable time.
The rumours and nervous speculation swirling around the presidential
election results and the mystery surrounding ZEC’s reluctance to speedily
release those results has the effect of producing unnecessary suspicions
that ZEC is being manipulated to produce results at variance with the
verdict of the people.This is unfortunate if only because there does not appear to be any
compelling reason for the inordinate delay in releasing the results. This
delay is stretching the patience of the people to the limit to the point
where ZEC appears to be abusing the legendary patience of the Zimbabwe
people.We have previously noted with considerable satisfaction that ZEC managed to
conduct what to many objective observers has been one of the most free and
fair elections since independence though there were still many flaws and
The integrity of the election body is now seriously under threat because of
its disinclination to quickly make the results public and allay the fears
and suspicions of the nation. If ZEC has the public interest and is not
driven by partisan interests, then it surely should release the results
without any further equivocation.The inordinate delay is a recipe for distrust, political tension and even
instability. ZEC must not only act impartially and honestly, it must be seen
to be respecting these cardinal values. So far, and with respect to the
snail’s pace at which the results were announced and the apparent reluctance
to release the presidential election results, ZEC is failing the test.
The autonomy and professionalism of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission have
been seriously eroded and deeply compromised, reinforcing accusations of
embedded partisanship and bias.
In the event of a re-run of the presidential election, Zimbabweans and the
international community now have grave doubts about the fairness and
impartiality of ZEC to conduct the poll.
The CCJP joins the domestic and international community in urging ZEC, in
the interest of peace and the search for justice, to urgently release and
publicise the results of the presidential election held on March 29, 2008.
Many Zimbabweans are anxiously waiting for these results; and they deserve
and have a right to know.Â CCJPZ will continue to observe the post election
period countrywide and produce reports.
Alouis Munyaradzi CHAUMBA Harare, 7 April 2008
ÂPost published in: Opinions