Comprehensive Electoral Amendment Bill launched
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) officially launched a Draft Comprehensive Electoral Amendment Bill which was handed over to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
The comprehensive draft was handed over by Zesn chairperson Andrew Makoni to Acting Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Joshua Murire in a virtual meeting organised by Zesn recently.
Prior to the launch, Zesn coordinated Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in crafting and submitting to Parliament a draft Electoral Amendment Bill in order to expedite the process.
In accordance with the request by Parliament, Zesn worked on drafting the Bill and in doing so, consulted key stakeholders such as CSOs, its network and beyond.
“We are happy you are an engaging parliament and thankful you will take this comprehensive draft to the house, debate it and emerge with a law that every Zimbabwean will be happy with. It gives me comfort that we will be able to get an Electoral Law that ensures there will be democratic elections in future and we look forward to a final product,” Makoni said upon launching the Draft Comprehensive Electoral Amendment Bill.
Makoni further expressed that some of the key provisions being introduced by the Bill on the were of the following areas; the further advancement of the Independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC),voter registration and the voters roll, voter education, external and special voting, the participation and representation of special groups in elections Election Roadmap, Election postponement, Election Observation, Election Dispute Resolution, Electoral malpractices, the Electoral Court and Election Petitions and the Media and Elections.
Murire, upon receiving the Draft Comprehensive Electoral Amendment Bill said that the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs received a petition from Zesn in 2019 and it took the task to holding consultations as required by constitution.
“The committee is full geared to see that the bill is processed and signed by President to become law.
“The Speaker guided us along the way and we hope the bill will produce a law that will shape and manage elections,” Murire said further.
“We have to take the draft bill to parliament and it is important that this be done as soon as possible; we don’t have to get into 2022,” said Mutare central Member of Parliament, Innocent Gonese.
After the Bill was handed over, most of the participants complimented Zesn for coming up with the initiative and for being inclusive with their consultations.