The Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) which houses leaders from various political parties which took part in the 2018 presidential elections is meeting in Bulawayo to discuss ways through which the electoral system in the country can be improved.
POLAD meets ahead of national elections slated for 2023 which the opposition MDC Alliance has vowed not to participate in if electoral reforms have not been implemented.
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Acting POLAD Chairperson Lucia Matibenga told ZBC News in an interview in Bulawayo on the sidelines of the discussions that there was a need to take a leaf from other organisations. She added:
We need to learn from the experiences of civil society organisations who have already been working on electoral reforms.
Meanwhile, ZANU PF secretary for legal affairs, Paul Mangwana who was also the co-chair of the COPAC team that drafted the 2013 constitution said the country’s electoral process was far from perfect. He said:
Whilst we think our electoral system is perfect, we are a growing democracy, we must continue to learn from one another, we must learn also from the views of experts who are examining our processes. We are doing a lot of listening as the ruling party and internalise views from the multi-stakeholders.
Following the 2018 elections which the opposition and some observers said were not free and fair, stakeholders including observer missions recommended that a raft of measures should be put in place to make sure future elections are credible and a true reflection of the citizenry’s voice.
Some of the irregularities recorded previously include voter intimidation, vote-buying and manipulation of election results.
More: ZBC News