‘ZEC can reform without changing the law’

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Binga North legislator, Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) yesterday said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) did not need to seek authority from Parliament to introduce new administrative measures to ensure the country holds free, fair and credible elections next month.

BY SILAS NKALA

“Only an idiot doesn’t understand that there are administrative steps that need to be taken by Zec in order to make the election free and fair without amending any law,” he told Southern Eye.

“For example, the law already provides for transparency in ballot paper management. It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to recognise that asking for open tender to ballot paper printing is part of that transparency, which the MDC Alliance is demanding.

“And that doesn’t require any legislative activity. I am surprised by some loud mouths and silent minds, including renowned legal minds, harping all over about the proclamation and changes in electoral law despite the clear demands by the opposition. I wonder why some so-called commentators and analysts do not refuse to comment where they have nothing to say,” he said.

Sibanda’s remarks came as opposition parties are accusing Zec and President Emmerson Mnangagwa of being reluctant to reform the electoral roadmap ahead of general elections set for July 30.

The MDC Alliance on Tuesday staged a demonstration in Harare and petitioned Zec over a cocktail of issues to be considered before elections among them an audit of the voters’ roll, revealing of the ballot paper printers and inspection of the ballot paper, demilitarisation of the Zec secretariat and equal coverage of all political parties in the media.

MDC Alliance has been accused of failing to understand the Constitution that no changes can be effected to the electoral law after the proclamation of the election date.

Critics cited clause 5 of section 157 of the Constitution, which reads: “After an election has been called, no change to the electoral law or to any other law relating to elections has effect for the purpose of that election.”