The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said it has the mandate to “insure and ensure” electoral integrity. This was said by the commission’s deputy chairperson, Mr Rodney Simukai Kiwa this Friday while addressing a Social Media Conference on Elections. Kiwa also said elections are a process and not an event hence the need to adequately prepare. His remarks come when critics and the opposition claim that ZEC has failed to run free, fair and credible elections. They accuse the commission of conniving with the ruling party to undermine the electoral process hence the need to disband the commission. We present the rest of his speech below:
I DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON’S REMARKS AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP ON RESPONSIBLE REPORTING FOR FREE, FAIR AND CREDIBLE ELECTIONS:
HOLIDAY INN, 22 APRIL 2022
• ZEC Commissioners
• The ZEC Chief Elections Officer
• The Zimbabwe Media Commission Acting Secretary
• Representative of POTRAZ Director General • Social Media Houses and Bloggers
• Ladies and Gentlemen
• Good morning!
I welcome you all to this workshop focussing on social media as one of ZEC’s critical partners and stakeholders in ensuring the delivery of an electoral process whose integrity is beyond reproach. The theme of this workshop is equally Instructive and appropriately demanding: Responsible Social Media Reporting for Free, Fair and Credible Elections.
In this regard, I would like all of us to think 2023 harmonized elections. And to be sure, let us be on the same page about concepts and processes. First, let us be agreed that elections are the means or mechanisms by which people make choices about who should represent and lead them, as well as express preference for given policies. Elections are instruments of legitimation for a body politic. They facilitate changes in leadership from one party to another in a way that is structured, competitive, transparent, and within a legal framework. Secondly, elections are not an event but a continuous process. A cycle if you will.
An ideal electoral cycle would have the following key elements: a legal framework; electoral planning and organized implementation; civic training and education; official voter registration; election campaigning; voting; certified verification of election results; and post-election processes. In this regard think and see ZEC. Our purpose is to insure and ensure electoral integrity. However, in this electoral process, tension is inevitable and perhaps desirable to the extent that it can bring out the best of the contending parties or individuals, but can also bring out the worst.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honor and privilege to declare this Workshop officially open and to wish you fruitful deliberations.
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