Alex T Magaisa, a law lecturer in the United Kingdom and former adviser to Zimbabwe’s late former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai has said that political reforms are central to the country’s prospects of economic recovery.
He identified a number of areas where reforms must address for political processes to yield intended results. He summarised the points as follows:
- Electoral reforms to allow fair play, reduce disputation and prevent illegitimacy. ZEC is not fit for purpose as a political referee. It has consistently failed to deliver legitimate outcomes.
- Inculcating political neutrality and independence of state institutions to ensure a fair and even political playing field.
- Ensuring a fair, impartial and independent judiciary to resolve conflicts.
- Overhaul of legislation that restricts political rights and freedoms; replacing it with laws that are consistent with the constitution and international human rights instruments. POSA must go but MOPO is not fit for purpose and it must be substantially reformed too.
- Administrative conduct by police and other law enforcement institutions must be fair, lawful and constitutional.
- Desist from politically motivated arrests which routinely target the opposition and civil society
- Hold perpetrators of politically motivated violence, including murders and abductions accountable.
- Desist from using decrees.
- Ensure state media is fair, neutral and professional. Having state media as an instrument of propaganda is inimical to democracy.