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Zimbabwe Politics

NERA Strongly Opposes Proposed Constitutional Amendments

The National Elections Reform Agenda (NERA) strongly opposes the proposed changes to Zimbabwe’s Electoral Act by the ruling ZANU PF party in parliament. These amendments, according to NERA, put the independence and fairness of the country’s electoral processes at risk.

NERA spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora issued a statement earlier this week, expressing their firm objection to the proposed amendments.

The amendments in question aim to shift crucial responsibilities such as voter registration and delimitation from the independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to bodies like the Registrar General and Delimitation Commission, both of which are appointed by the executive. This move resembles provisions of the old constitution, which were previously rejected by Zimbabweans in both the 2013 Constitution and the 2000 Referendum.

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NERA denounces these amendments for two main reasons. Firstly, they see them as a direct attack on the independence of institutions outlined in Chapter 12, particularly ZEC. Secondly, they believe the proposed changes undermine the principles set forth in the 2013 constitution, thus endangering the progress made towards ensuring fair and transparent electoral processes.

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Upholding the integrity of the new constitution, designed to safeguard the independence and effectiveness of electoral institutions, is crucial. Reallocating responsibilities from ZEC to executive-appointed bodies like the Registrar General and the Delimitation Commission is viewed as a backward step that compromises the democratic desires of the Zimbabwean populace.

NERA argues that by attempting to dismantle the achievements of the new constitution, these amendments threaten to hinder ZEC’s ability to operate independently and effectively, leading to a further decline in public trust in the electoral system.

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