The meeting noted that elections were imminent and called ZESN to begin preparations for elections and the referendum. Members present noted that the constitution making process provided a unique opportunity for Zimbabweans to determine governance issues. ZESN notes that the continued focus on elections diverts attention from the constitution making process which will provide the bedrock for free and fair elections.
As the constitutional outreach process was launched, ZESN welcomed calls for citizen participation by the principals to the Global Political Agreement, as well as freedom during and after speech which is important given the threats of retribution that have been expressed to some citizens for participating in the process. The three Principals have also called for peace and that should extend to all times including future elections.
ZESN reiterates that there are fundamental reforms necessary for genuine elections that give the citizens real choices and these include:
Respect for the constitutional provisions that guarantee freedoms and rights of the citizens
Promotion of media plurality
Adoption of systems of governance and electoral system that promote the participation and representation of all citizens in their governance
Reform of the security sector into a service and not a force
The repealing of restrictive legislation namely POSA and AIPPA which curtail freedoms
The transformation of Zimbabwe Election Management Body (ZEC) to make it independent and increase its capacity to run elections effectively and efficiently without undue influence from political parties.
Thus the meeting urged, ZESN to prepare for elections and be ready to monitor and observe the constitution making process, the referendum and the elections after that. ZESN notes that the moratorium on by-elections is a violation of the citizens rights to be represented and thus there is need for by-elections to be held in the places they are pending. The right to choose leaders and to be represented is a human right which needs to be promoted and protected.Post published in: Politics