African Commission approached over ‘compromised’ Zim election

The African Commission on Human and People’s rights has been urged to use its influence to put pressure on the ZANU PF government to address, among many other issues, the ‘compromised’ July elections.

The Commission this week opened its 54th Ordinary Session, where a delegation of civil society members, including the Zim Human Rights NGO Forum, is lobbying for action on the situation back home. In a statement to the Commission, the Forum said Wednesday that there are significant human rights and rule of law issues still unaddressed in Zimbabwe.

This includes the “compromised” election in July, which the Forum argued lacked credibility mainly “because of the lack of integrity of the voters roll.”

“The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) and the Registrar’s General’s office failed to avail the electronic copy of the voters roll, as provided for by section 21 of the Electoral Act…it is sad that until today ZEC has not yet availed the electronic copy. The registration of new voters only compounded the already shambolic state of the voters’ roll, which was fraught with duplications, omissions and still remains in dire need of clean up,” the Forum said.

It added: “Furthermore, the elections were compromised by such disturbing electoral anomalies as the high number of voters turned away, high number of assisted voters, bussing in of people from outside constituencies particularly to urban polling stations and voter intimidation mostly in rural areas which was spearheaded by the traditional leadership. The Forum, using statistics from its member and partner organizations, recorded a total of 732 cases of harassment and intimidation during the election period.”

The Forum’s director Abel Chikomo said another critical issue at the moment is the failure by the ZANU PF government to, as of yet, align Zimbabwe’s laws with the new constitution.

“Unfortunately we haven’t realigned a lot of our laws that go against what is enshrined in the new constitution. For example POSA, which goes against the principle of freedom of assembly; AIPPA, which is against freedom of expression and the media, and the Criminal Law Act. All those laws impeach on the constitution,” Chikomo said.

He added: “The Commission should call on the government to immediately realign these laws.”

The Forum also raised other issues, include the “below standard” service delivery in most sectors such as health, education, water, power and sanitation, shortages of clean and safe water, erratic power supply and limited access to basic health care. – SW Radio Africa

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