FULL TEXT: ZESN Calls For The Setting Up An Inclusive Multi-Stakeholder Taskforce

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) notes the establishment of an inter-ministerial taskforce to address recommendations and issues raised by the various election observer missions and the Motlanthe Commission on the 1 August 2018 shootings.

ZESN however, urges the government to set up an inclusive multi-stakeholder taskforce comprising of a wide range of key stakeholders such as other political parties that participated in the 2018 harmonised election, churches and civic society groups including representatives of persons with disabilities, youths and women to spearhead electoral and political reforms.

The Motlanthe Commission had recommended the establishment of a multi-party reconciliation initiative, including youth representatives, with national and international mediation to address the root causes of the post-election violence.

The Commission also recommended the identification and implementation of strategies for reducing tensions, promoting common understandings of political campaigning, combating criminality, and uplifting communities. ZESN, therefore, calls for the inclusion of other stakeholders to ensure representation of all electoral stakeholders in the implementation of recommendations by local, regional and international election observers before the 2023 elections.

ZESN identified a number of key areas that require adequate reforms namely enhancing the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and other Chapter 12 institutions, reviewing results management and transmission systems, revising provisions around the delimitation of constituencies, tightening provisions on the role of traditional leaders.
Furthermore, provisions must be put in place to regulate political parties and enforce the disclosure of sources of funding and the use of campaign funding.

The Network implores the government to strengthen the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to ensure that it fully delivers on its Constitutional mandate and initiate a dialogue that will culminate in initiatives that build and sustain peace in the country to avoid disputed electoral processes in future.

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