10 Point Plan: Towards Democratic Elections in Zimbabwe
- Government needs to immediately align all electoral laws with the Constitution of Zimbabwe. THE IMMEDIATE ALIGNMENT OF ELECTORAL LAW WILL ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME FOR IMPLEMENTATION BEFORE ELECTION.
- Enhance the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission independence and capacity. THE EXECUTIVE SHOULD NOT INTERFERE WITH ZEC OPERATIONS. REVIEW CLAUSES IN THE ELECTORAL ACT AND STOP ACTIONS THAT COMPROMISE THE INDEPENDENCE OF ZEC.
- Zero tolerance to political violence. THERE IS NEED TO CREATE ENFORCEABLE PUNITIVE MEASURES TO ELIMINATE POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND BUILD A CONDUCIVE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT WHICH GUARANTEES THE ENJOYMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS.
- Transparency in electoral processes in particular the voter registration, voting and results management processes MUST ADHERE TO REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED PRINCIPLES such as COMPREHENSIVE, INCLUSIVE, ACCESSIBLE, TRANSPARENT, ACCURATE AND INTEGRITY.
- Right to Vote and Contest should be enjoyed by all eligible citizens as provided for in the Constitution. ZEC MUST EXTEND THE RIGHT TO VOTE TO ALL ELIGIBLE ZIMBABWEANS INCLUDING THOSE IN HOSPITALS AND PRISONS. REINSTATE SPECIAL VOTING.
- ZEC should IMMEDIATELY commence COMPREHENSIVE, INCLUSIVE AND CONTINUOUS VOTER EDUCATION AND OPEN IT UP TO OTHER STAKEHOLDERS. Voter Education needs to deliberately target women, youth, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups. 2
- STRENGTHEN Conflict management mechanisms at all levels of the electoral cycle. RECONSTITUTE THE ELECTORAL COURT TO CONFORM TO SECTION 183 OF THE CONSTITUTION. Ensure access to and timeous resolution to election related disputes. The SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE must be activated for all elections.
- ZEC must ensure access to state media by ALL electoral contestants and EQUITABLE media coverage during elections. THE STATE AND ZEC SHOULD ENFORCE THE CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL REPORTING.
- FRAMEWORK FOR LONG TERM ELECTION OBSERVATION MUST BE ESTABLISHED AND THE SECURITY OF OBSERVERS SHOULD BE GUARANTEED.
STRENGTHEN Institutions supporting democracy.
GOVERNMENT MUST ADEQUATELY RESOURCE THESE INSTITUTIONS AND ENSURE THEIR INDEPENDENCE.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) formed in 2000 is a coalition of 31 non-governmental organisations formed to co-ordinate activities pertaining to elections.
The major focus of the Network is to promote democratic processes in general and free and fair elections in particular.
It was also established to standardise the NGOs election related activities and methodology as well as to ensure wider geographical coverage and co-ordination of activities.
The broad aim of the Network was therefore to enhance the election process in Zimbabwe in order to promote democracy and good governance in general as well as free and fair elections in particular whilst adhering to internationally acceptable standards.