Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) president Linda Masarira has said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should be disbanded for its inefficiencies.
Masarira’s remarks, coming a week before Zimbabweans go for the March 26 by-elections, follow the exclusion of her name from the voters’ roll by the electoral management body.
In next week’s mini polls, Zimbabweans will be voting to fill in 28 parliamentary and over 120 local authority seats that have fallen vacant over the past two years.
Speaking on This Morning on Asakhe, a current affairs program hosted by CITE on Twitter Spaces, Friday, Masarira, who has since threatened to take legal action against ZEC, said the electoral management body has demonstrated it is incapable of running credible elections.
“At this juncture, I feel that ZEC must be disbanded because it is failing to fulfill its constitutional mandate,” suggested Masarira, who is also Harare Central by-election candidate for her party.”
“It is failing to be independent. It is failing to ensure that they run credible elections, and lastly, they have failed to ensure that the Code of conduct is upheld by all the candidates and all the political parties as they continue to take sides.”
Masarira said the voters roll she received from ZEC was missing some names of voters in her constituency.
“We noticed a couple of days that the voters roll in my possession which I was given a week after Nomination Court [sitting] by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission at the Harare candidates meeting was actually missing a couple of names, my name included and when we realized this, my chief election agent, the following day then visited ZEC provincial election offices and they said that there was an omission and they then gave us another disk, which had my name inside and other names that we had realized had been omitted from the initial voters’ roll that they had supplied to us,” decried Masarira.
“So I contacted my lawyers and they’ve written a letter to ZEC to clarify how many copies of the voters’ roll are there. We are still waiting for their response, after which we’ll be taking the matter to court because it seems that there are some shenanigans that are happening at Zimbabwe Electoral Commission because Precious my Harare, East candidate, our secretary-general, Precious Musarurwa, was also supplied with the wrong voters’ roll at the Harare candidates meeting, and she was given the voters’ roll for Highfields instead of Harare East, so it means that there’s a lot that is happening at ZEC and they have to put their house in order.”
Masarira said LEAD was also challenging the printing of ballot papers by ZEC without consulting stakeholders involved in the 26th of March by-elections adding, issues raised during the 2018 polls were still being raised in 2022.
“We are now concerned about the credibility and the astuteness of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be running our elections in Zimbabwe as they continue to give us a biased side of how they do things. Furthermore, we’re still facing a lot of challenges of having ZEC being independent,” she lamented.
She added that in cases of political violence certain political parties and their agents are not attending hearings while ZEC is also seeming taking sides and not helping the situation.