By Staff Reporter
The National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) brought together the Secretary Generals of thirteen political parties and chairpersons of seven civic societies to address the pressing issues surrounding Zimbabwe’s electoral systems.
Three additional political parties, though unable to attend, expressed their support for the cause.
Engineer Joelson Mugari, the Chairman of NERA, set the tone for the discussion by emphasizing the critical need for electoral reforms in Zimbabwe.
Acknowledging the contentious history of elections in the country, dating back to the heavily disputed 2008 polls and continuing through the recent 2023 elections, Mugari called for unity among political parties.
He outlined the challenges, including malpractices, maladministration, unfairness, and non-credible conduct by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Mugari stressed the importance of the motto “an injury to one is an injury to all” in the electoral field and urged political parties not to shy away from addressing this critical agenda.
Key outcomes discussed at the meeting include striving for a neutral electoral commission through equitable distribution of ballot papers and ensuring fair representation across all provinces. Involving consultations with all stakeholders, non-alignment of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP): Preventing undue influence on political parties, allowing voters to choose their assistants freely among other issues.
The meeting concluded with a commitment to hold regular discussions leading up to the next elections and said petitions will be presented to ZEC, Parliament, and other government ministries advocating for specific acts and procedures.
The Chairman emphasized the need for all political parties to respect electoral laws, irrespective of their stature.