26 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Zec Speaks On Harmonised Elections

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says the US$50 million allocated to it in the 2013 National Budget is not sufficient to fund both the referendum and harmonised elections set for next year.

Zimbabwe is set hold referendum in January with harmonised elections expected end of March next year.

Zec requires US$220 million for both the referendum and elections.

The commission is, however, optimistic that Government will allocate more funds once a Presidential proclamation is made.

Zec chairperson for public relations and communication committee Dr Petty Makoni said the US$50 million could be just an initial allocation as elections were wholly funded by the State.

"Yes, it is true that Zec was allocated US$50 million for the referendum and general elections," said Dr Makoni.

"Zec believes the US$50 million was merely an initial allocation, just part of the total budget for the referendum and the elections.

"The state has always provided for the total election budget and Zec believes after proclamation the state will provide the adequate funding required for Zec to fulfil its mandate," she said.

Dr Makoni said it was not the role of Zec to source election funding. She said it was Government's responsibility to provide adequate funds.

Zec, she said, was already preparing for the referendum and elections adding that various activities have been lined up as the country drifts towards elections.

"Zec has done a lot of ground work in terms of training and capacity building of its staff through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funding assistance and has conducted multiple stakeholder workshops sensitising the various participants on the electoral process," said Dr Makoni.

"In addition, UNDP funding has enabled Zec to acquire vehicles, computers, laptops, public address systems, dictaphones, television sets, DSTV decoders, DVD players and furniture."

Dr Makoni said through the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Development in Africa funding, Zec was able to produce a Voter Education handbook and conducted training of trainers workshops for internal stakeholders and civic society organisations in preparation for the dissemination of voter education information.

She added that the electoral institute had also conducted conflict management workshops with various stakeholders.

Dr Makoni said they had formed a committee with Joint Organ on Monitoring and Implementation Committee, Organ on National Healing, Rehabilitation and Integration, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and Zimbabwe Media Commission, which is chaired by a Zec Commissioner, in a bid to harmonise the approach to conflict resolution.

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