ERC welcomes inspection of voters roll via mobile shortcodes.

March 18, 2022

Following numerous reports of anomalies in the voters roll, ERC welcomes the move by ZEC to avail voters roll inspection at a no cost platform through mobile phone shortcodes on Econet and Netone lines. Section 21 of the Electoral Act states that the voters roll is a public document and open to inspection by the public, free of charge and the ERC applauds ZEC for making the voters roll accessible.

ERC Successfully Files Application For Contempt Of Court Against Chief Fortune Charumbira

March 17, 2022

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) on 11 March 2022 filed a Chamber Application in the High Court for Contempt of Court against Chief Fortune Charumbira, the Minister of Local Government and the National Council of Chief (Case No HC1603/2022) for the failure to comply with a 2018 High Court order. The ERC seeks an order for Chief Charumbira and the Minister of Local Government to be committed to Harare Remand Prison for a period of three (3) months, suspended on condition that they comply with a 2018 High Court order.

ERC Successfully Files Constitutional Court Application For Joinder In The Tapera Sengweni Case.

March 11, 2022

The ERC maintains that it is entitled to be heard on the matter of Tapera Sengweni (CCZ 13/22) as it affects electoral interests, since there is a matter pending before the High Court pertaining to the by-elections where judgement was reserved in May 2021. The ERC had sought an order seeking that SI 225A of 2020 was ultra vires the Constitution and the Electoral Act and sought to compel President E.D Mnangagwa to proclaim the by-elections.

ERC Condemns Police Brutality on CCC activist.

March 11, 2022

The ERC condemns the brutality unleashed on Godfrey Karembera popularly known as “Madzibaba Veshanduko”, a prominent Citizens for Change Coalition (CCC) activist whilst in Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRPs) custody. The ZRP has a duty to protect and not harm citizens, despite their political affiliations. Section 53 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that “no person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. The referred conduct of the police is deplorable, illegal and must be challenged to ensure no further perpetuation of the illegality is experienced again in Zimbabwe.

ERC & ZESN Statement on Phase 1 of Voter Registration

February 28, 2022

As part of their commitment to support democratic development and promote credible, transparent, and accountable electoral processes in Zimbabwe, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) observed the first phase of the registration blitz and shall observe the second phase of the BVR blitz on an independent and nonpartisan basis for all Zimbabweans. The joint observation effort serves to provide citizens and key stakeholders with accurate, independent, timely, and credible information on the BVR blitz process. ERC and ZESN’s further objective is to ensure the BVR blitz is transparent,
inclusive, and accountable as well as follows regional and international best practices.

ERC Concerned By Politically And Election Motivated Violence In Mbizo, Kwekwe

February 27, 2022

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes with grave concern the politically motivated violence targeting Citizen Coalition for Change supporters in Kwekwe on Sunday 27 February 2022. Acts of political violence are unacceptable in Zimbabwe’s democracy, and ERC calls on all political parties, state institutions and electoral stakeholders to desist from the practice. Further ERC calls on the constitutional bodies responsible for justice to investigate and prosecute the instigators of violence. The ERC reminds political parties and their supporters that democracy is about multi parties and divergent views and to that end calls on all political parties to respect the democratic principles set out in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Statement on ERC Concerned By Voters Roll Anomalies

February 17, 2022

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes with grave concern at the alleged tampering of the voters’ roll availed to stakeholders ahead of the March 26 by-elections. The ERC has received numerous complaints from citizens who allegedly had their polling stations and wards changed arbitrarily without due notice in accordance with section 35(2) Electoral Act. A closer study of the 2018 and the 2022 voter rolls, show inconsistencies in Harare East, Kwekwe, Mutasa South and Redcliff Constituencies. amongst others. These ungazetted changes erode citizens and stakeholder confidence in the electoral process.

Statement on Police Conduct Should Not Undermine Free & Fair Elections

February 02, 2022

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) has noted with grave concern the rising levels of police led oppression and intimidation which are characterising political and campaign activities ahead of the 2022 By-Elections. Incidents of what appear to be systematic abuse of the rule of law to deny the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and candidates the opportunity to campaign in line with section 67 of the Constitution has been reported across by-election areas over the past few weeks.

Statement on the 28  January Nomination Court For Harare East, Kambuzuma, Mbizo, Mutasa South, Nkulumane And Pumula Constituencies

February 02, 2022

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes with concern the decision taken by President E.D. Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to reopen the nomination court for six constituencies without seeking judicial guidance on the legality of the proclamation and nomination court sitting taking into account the legal uncertainty brought about by SI 2 of 2022, and two contradictory orders by the High Court on the same case involving the same parties and same issues within a 24 hour
period.

Statement on Freedom of Information Bill

July 03, 2020

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes the adoption of the Freedom of Information Bill to law and the subsequent repealing of the Access to Information and Privacy Act (AIPPA), that had stifled steps towards a free, fair and transparent electoral environment. The repeal of AIPPA comes on the backdrop of consistent calls by electoral stakeholders including local and international 2018 Election Observer Missions to repeal the Act and formed part of ERC’s calls and recommendations for electoral reform.

ERC on Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s statement to suspend electoral activities

June 08, 2020

Though ZEC expressed that they will communicate the suspended activities in due time, the inconspicuous statement leaves room for discretionary conduct which is unhealthy for democratic purposes especially those that include political competition. It is with this in mind that the commission is encouraged to increase clarity in informing stakeholders on all activities to be continued and those to remain suspended.

Africa TOGETHER: 2020 clarion call

May 25, 2020

25 May 1963, the Organisation of African Unity was founded to bring the continent together. From then on, 25 May has been celebrated across Africa and the whole world, signifying the identity and unity of Africa. The Election Resource Centre joins Africa in celebrating ‘A prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.’

Recall of Members of Parliament: A case of overturning the public vote ‘fashionably’

May 12, 2020

The Constitution of Zimbabwe in terms of section 129(1)(k) has a provision for respective political parties to reprimand errant representatives, which actions includes recall from public office. All recalls recorded to date are potentially curious cases of overturning an equally important provision in the Constitution in terms of section 69(3)(a) of the significance of the public vote.

COVID-19 lockdown no grounds to negate parliament oversight

April 02, 2020

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) stresses the role of the parliament to legislate, to scrutinize the policies and activities of the Executive, to hold the Executive to account for its actions and to act as a forum for democratic participation by all members of society. Since the restriction of movement, the Parliament has not performed its role. It is the opinion of the ERC to assert that the restriction of movement cannot be taken as an excuse for the Parliament to fail to do its role.

Government Urged to Withdraw Constitutional Amendment Bill No.2

March 17, 2020

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) encourages the government of Zimbabwe to withdraw and refer for further consultations efforts to amend the Constitution through Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 which is before Parliament. The Bill, if passed as is, poses a threat to national cohesion given the polarising effects of some of the proposals being explored. From an election perspective, twenty out of the twenty seven clauses in the Bill have the potential to affect the credibility of the 2023 elections.

Hon Matemadanda’s reckless utterances costly

December 16, 2019

Following the ZANU PF 18th annual people’s conference, ERC notes utterances made by Hon Matemadanda in an article published by The Standard claiming that elections will not remove ZANU PF from power. ERC denounces such reckless utterances that questions the sincerity of the New Dispensation in addressing electoral reforms well ahead of the 2023 Harmonised elections.

ERC bewails lack of comprehensive approach on electoral reforms

November 06, 2019

Think tank and advocacy institution on elections and democracy, the Election Resource Centre (ERC), has bemoaned the lack of a comprehensive platform to tackle electoral reforms one year after disputed elections.

Chief Charumbira in contempt of court- ERC.

September 30, 2019

On May 9, 2018 the High Court of Zimbabwe gave an order against the President of the National Council of Chiefs, Chief Fortune Charumbira instructing him to retract statements he made on October 28 and December 20, 2017 in support of a political party in contravention of Section 281 (2) of the Constitution.

One year later. What has changed?

July 31, 2019

One year since the 2018 harmonized elections, the Election Resource Centre recognizes the setting up of the Inter Ministerial Taskforce on Political and Electoral Reforms by the Executive, Parliament’s passing of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance now waiting full ratification by the President, efforts by government to repeal constitutionally offensive provisions in media and political issues in existing laws, pronouncements declaring commitment to political reforms, the setting up of a presidential advisory council, the setting up of a dialogue platform for political parties some of which participated in the 2018 elections and the final release of the election report by ZEC.

ERC Calls for Transparency and Inclusivity During the BVR Mop Up Exercise

January 15, 2018

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has embarked on a Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) mop up exercise from 10 January to 8 February 2018. 2 850 mobile and 87 static registration centers were established across the country. The mop up was necessitated by low turnout in some provinces and a High Court Judgement ordering ZEC to register “aliens” who hitherto, were denied the right. While the extension of voter registration is commendable, the ERC notes that the exercise was launched before the completion of adequate preparations, procedures and communication. Further, the ERC is concerned that critical electoral processes continue to be administered against the backdrop of an Electoral Act that remains largely unaligned with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

ERC commends ZEC for rolling out national voter registration blitz, encourages effective stakeholder participation

October 12, 2017

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) commends the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for commencing new Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) exercise in the country’s 63 districts as stipulated under Section 36A of the Electoral Act. Further, ZEC is applauded for rolling out the first phase of the National Voter Registration Blitz at 2 508 Voter Registration Centres across the country, which commenced on 10 October 2017. The blitz will run for 72 days.

ERC position on Voter Registration Regulations by ZEC

July 27, 2017

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) welcomes Statutory Instrument 85 (S.I. 85) of 2017 that was gazetted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the 21st of July 2017. The statutory instrument outlines new voter registration regulations ahead of the 2018 harmonized elections, and provides nine fundamental provisions for voter registration namely; from proof of identity and citizenship, proof of residence, registration offices and centres, procedure for registration, control of persons in premises used for registration of voters, voters’ rolls, inspection of voters’ rolls, certification of voters’ rolls and provision and cost of voter’s rolls and maps.

Association of Rural District Council offside

June 8, 2017

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) is deeply disturbed by recent utterances from the Association of Rural District Council (ARDC) indicating an intended programme to mobilize people to register as voters and vote for a particular candidate. Media reports actually capture intention to canvass for people in rural areas to vote for President Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) in the impending 2018 harmonized elections. Particularly, The Herald of Wednesday the 7th of June 2017 reported that the Association of Rural District Councils that is chaired by Dr Killer Zivhu was making significant strides towards mobilisation of voters and achieving 2, 3 million votes for President Mugabe ahead of 2018.

Not just stone age, but unworkable: Disadvantages of adopting voting by ID

March 20, 2017

It has been argued by some for Zimbabwe to do away with the voters’ roll and allow people to vote in the 2018 General Election simply on production of their National Identity Card (ID). The premise is that this system has a number of advantages over the proposed Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) or the old manual voters’ roll based system. Proposed advantage of the ID voting system is that it would enable universal suffrage as all Zimbabweans with IDs would be able to vote. It would also curb intimidation and violence against voters as a person would be able to vote anywhere in the country. Further it would eliminate the costly exercise of registering voters. This premise, despite its merits, is inherently flawed with disadvantages that outweigh the notion of switching to an ID voter system.

It is Biometric Voter Registration, not “biometric or electronic voting!” – Setting the record straight on misrepresentation of facts

March 15, 2017

The Herald of 13 March 2017 commentary ran with an unlikely but expected headline: BVR; a luxury we cannot afford! The article posited that Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) with all its advantages was a risk to the country and a luxury we could not afford. It premised its assertion on the failures of biometric voting and voter identification technology in well to do nations like France and other African countries and not BVR. The commentary placed this failure solely on cyber warfare and attacks. The Election Resource Centre (ERC) contends that the commentary is largely a misrepresentation of facts.