By Joyce Mukucha
The Election Resource Centre (ERC) has noted with concern potential challenges emanating from Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in as much as adequate funding is concerned.
ERC continues to maintain its position that the government of Zimbabwe must not negate its obligation of adequately funding the Electoral Commission and to institute the required reforms and alignment of the laws to the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
ERC reiterates and reminds all electoral stakeholders that holding elections at all levels and set timelines are non-negotiable as this is set out in the national Constitution.
In a statement, ERC said, “The financial support coupled with the necessary reforms are the bedrock that anchors electoral processes that meet constitutional benchmarks and regionally and internationally agreed standards. The Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube on Thursday, 26 November, presented the National Budget for the fiscal year 2021, and ZEC was allocated a mere 19% of their budgetary proposal,” reads the statement.
Adequate budgeting for ZEC, ERC emphasised, was essential, taking into account the impending by-elections, the delimitation processes, and the 2023 Harmonised elections.
“Comprehensive voter education, registration, and election administration are key pillars of democracy and adequate resources must be availed to ensure ZEC is able to fulfill its Constitutional mandate. Under-resourcing ZEC does not in any way reflect the government’s sincerity to electoral processes in the country.
In the past, last-minute preparation and execution of electoral processes were resulting in elections that do not adhere to national laws, regional and international best practices.
“ZEC must start preparations for the delimitation build-up processes and underfunding the Commission at this juncture is a mockery to the mandate of the Commission and thus derails preparations towards the 2023 elections and has a direct impact on the quality of the elections in terms of universal suffrage and representation.”