Parliamentary and civic rights watchdog, Veritas has taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to the High Court seeking an order compelling ZEC to comply with its constitutional duty to administer a transparent general election and to promote transparency in all its operations. Veritas is requesting that High Court should declare that ZEC has a legal duty to:
1. Disclose all of its standard operating procedures, processes, policies and internal manuals which relate to the conduct of elections and make them available for public scrutiny at least three months before the election;
2. Publish in advance of the election the criteria for screening and selecting persons seconded to ZEC’s during an election, and for other electoral processes such as registration of voters;
3. Publish the names of persons seconded to ZEC as well as the designations or roles in the electoral process and the government departments from which they were seconded as soon as reasonably possible after any such secondment and in all circumstances in advance of the election;
4. Ensure that no members of the Security Services are seconded to it;
5. Publish the names, designations and government departments of any persons to whom ZEC delegates, directs, or asks to assume any voter registration functions;
6. Publish the names, designations and government departments of any persons to whom voter registration functions were not delegated to for the reason that the Civil Service Commission withheld its consent;
7. Retain direction and control over any member of the Civil Service to whom it delegates its voter registration functions;
8. Produce and publish a manual, in advance of the election, for any person who is to act as an election officer during an election to ensure that the election is conducted in an efficient and transparent manner;
9. Promptly publish the names of persons who have been removed from the voters roll and the reasons for such removal as soon as they have been removed as soon as reasonably possible after their removal from the voters roll and in all circumstances at least three weeks before an election;
10. Publish, in advance of the election, the standard operating procedures relating to the compilation, collation and transmission of results from polling stations.
11. Publish, in advance of the election, the standard operating procedures relating to the sealing and storage of ballot boxes, voters rolls, ballot papers, tallies of votes and any other electoral papers, which must ensure all such electoral papers are sealed in such a way that they can be made available for the purpose of any electoral petition, in terms of the electoral law;
12. Publish information relating to its intended voter education exercise including a schedule of the date, time and location of where it will conduct voter education as well as the publication online of all voter education materials that the First Respondent intends to use for its voter education programs;
13. Ensure that election agents are identifiable on Election Day by way of providing lanyard identity (ID) cards to election agents to be worn on Election Day;
14. Publish the names of any person, body, organ, agency or institution, belonging to or employed by the State, who provides assistance to the Commission in order to protect its independence, integrity and dignity in terms of section 10A(3) of the Electoral Act as well as the precise nature of the assistance;
15. Not to delegate any of its functions regarding the logistics or any other aspect of its mandate to administer elections;
16. Not to delegate any of its mandate to the National Logistics Committee (NLC) unless all members of the NLC have been seconded to ZEC in terms of section 10 and are under its direction and control;
17. Publish in advance of the election the names, roles and government departments of all personnel that make up the NLC or any other State organ that provides any assistance to the Respondent and the nature of the assistance;
18. Publish in advance of the election a clear explanation of the legal and institutional mandate of the NLC including details about its role in every aspect of the administration of the election and how the First Respondent will maintain oversight, direction and control over the NLC;
19. Publish all standard operating procedures, processes, policies and internal manuals that relate to the NLC.
20. Produce and publish the First Respondent’s criteria and methodology for monitoring media houses as well as its standard operating procedures, processes, policies and internal manuals relating to the monitoring of media houses.