Loopholes in electoral bill

The Southern African Parliamentary Trust has expressed concern over the loopholes in the Electoral Amendment Bill, including the exclusion of a Diaspora vote.

The bill, expected to be debated in parliament, is part of efforts by the parties in the inclusive government to draft a road map for the holding of free and fair elections.

In an interview with The Zimbabwean, SAPST Deputy Director, Israel Chilimanzi, said the issue of not allowing Zimbabweans abroad to vote was one major shortcoming of the bill.

"The bill does not provide for the Diaspora vote. However, these people living out of the borders are citizens of the country with a right to vote," he said.

Chilimanzi added that the bill did not give the ZEC sweeping powers to conduct the elections.

"Voter registration would have been done perfectly well if ZEC was given the power to conduct it. That is the power they needed to efficiently do their job."

According to the bill proposed, accreditation of observers shall be done by a seven member committee chaired by ZEC chairman Simpson Mutambanengwe. However, four of the committee members will be drawn from the executive. The minisitries of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs will each appoint a representative, while the President's office will second a person. Zanu (PF) controls these ministries.

Post published in: Politics

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