Constitutional law expert, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, has said the current Constitution, adopted in 2013 did not adequately address the issue of a level playing field in Zimbabwe’s elections, hence the need for electoral reforms seven years since the new charter repealed the 1979 Lancaster House document.
The outcome of two consecutive polls in 2013 and 2018 after the adoption of the new Constitution was contested.
Madhuku is the chairperson of governance and legislative agenda thematic committee in Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), currently working on an alternative electoral bill.
POLAD is a grouping of smaller opposition parties by Parliamentary representation, engaged in talks with the ruling ZANU-PF party on the country’s political and economic crisis.
“Our current problem is that we have not in terms of the existing laws solved or resolved the issue of the outstanding materials that ought to create an even playing field,” said Madhuku was in Bulawayo recently.
“I am sorry to say that we had the constitution in 2013. Some of the provisions in that constitution are still subject of dispute because they did not put us where we would have wanted to be.”
He explained further: “I can give one example, currently the consensus going around many people discussing is that they believe that if we had a proportional representation system as an electoral system, where you have elections and then you go by what South Africans do. You go by the percentage of the vote then you get the MPs and so forth, it would have been the fairest system.”
He said it was regrettable that such critical issues were overlooked during the constitution-making-process.
“In 2013 we didn’t provide for that and then problems continued. Now we want to have reforms, we have to deal with that,” bemoaned Madhuku.
“We have not really dealt with key problems that create an even playing field. Give us six months to come up with a bill that will accommodate everything.”