2012: a year of electoral reforms

Civil society organisations are concerned with the escalating calls by the state for early elections after the draft constitution has been put to a referendum.

Lawyers protesting against rights abuses on the streets of Harare.
Lawyers protesting against rights abuses on the streets of Harare.

Zimbabweans appreciate that the key element in the exercise democracy is the holding of free and fair elections, it is, however, imperative to put in place certain fundamental prerequisites and these should be coupled with credible electoral reforms.

Although the Zimbabwean constitution guarantees freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, the government has not taken any serious steps to criminalise torture.

Three years into the power-sharing government, President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party have used violence and repression to dominate government institutions and hamper meaningful human rights progress. Police continue to arrest and detain human rights defenders and journalists for no reason.

2012 must not be for elections, but a year for fundamental reforms.

According to the Advocacy Charter, Zimbabwe has not ratified all of the outstanding human rights treaties. The charter also stipulates that the unity government has also not ratified the optional protocols. Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition thus urges the united nations to call upon the government of Zimbabwe to fulfil its obligations in terms of the African charter on the rights and freedoms of its citizens; to implement fully the provisions of the GPA and accept and implement various recommendations from civil society; to effect genuine electoral reforms in line with the declaration by the African Commission on principles governing democratic elections in Africa before the conduction of any new elections.

Post published in: Politics

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