Electoral reforms will enhance democracy, MDC tells Mugabe govt

2016-02-03 12:15
MDC Spokesperson Obert Gutu (Facebook)

MDC Spokesperson Obert Gutu (Facebook)

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Harare - The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has called for the reform of laws governing the country's electoral body in order to create a conducive environment for the upcoming polls in 2018.

In a statement, party spokesperson Obert Gutu said reforms of election laws would help "deepen and enhance Zimbabwe's democracy" which has been marred by controversies over the years.

He said his party wanted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to be funded directly through a vote in parliament, instead of the current system which requires a vote from the ministry of justice.

"Presently, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is funded through a vote included in the ministry of justice vote. The ideal situation is for ZEC to get government funds in a separate vote by parliament. ZEC is facing serious financial and other related material resources constraints," Gutu said.

Gutu added that the commission should allow direct donations to different non-governmental organisations that would carry out electoral education in the country.

Currently, according to the country’s election laws, funds must be deposited into the ZEC which would then disburse them to their intended recipients.

"The current restrictions on voter education by organisations other than ZEC must be relaxed, in particular in respect of general civic education on electoral rights," Gutu said.

Gutu's remarks came a few days after Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the southern African nation will not change its ways in choosing who should observe the 2018 polls.

Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was a sovereign country, thus, it reserved the right to choose which countries and institutions to allow as observers during elections.

"Our position as Zimbabwe has not changed. We are a sovereign state and we run our own elections like a sovereign state and we choose as to who will observe our elections.

Read more on:    obert gutu  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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