Pindula
Register Login

High Court’s Suspension Of Elections Casts Doubt On ZEC's Independence - ERC

High Court’s Suspension Of Elections Casts Doubt On ZEC's Independence - ERC

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) has said the High Court’s decision to sanction to the suspension of elections done by the Government of Zimbabwe under the guise of fighting COVID-19 casts doubt on the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). In a statement seen by Pindula News, ERC and Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) also opposed “government interference in the administration of elections.” Reads the statement dated 13 July 2022:

STATEMENT ON THE HIGH COURT’S DECISION TO DISMISS BY-ELECTION CHALLENGE

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) have reacted to the judgement of the High Court of Zimbabwe giving judicial sanction to the suspension of elections done by the Government of Zimbabwe under the guise of fighting COVID-19 as a lost opportunity by the Courts to reinforce the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and reaffirm Zimbabwe’s commitment to the separation of powers.

The independence of ZEC is a foundational principle to Zimbabwe’s democracy, and the High Court’s decision to sanction the suspension of elections casts doubt on the independence of the Commission in terms of election administration and certainty in the electoral calendar and its abilities to conduct and manage elections as provided for in the country’s constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

The judgement delivers a blow to the constitutional independence of the Electoral Commission and potentially exposes the Commission to continued infringement of its independence and will embolden the Executive and Governmental branches to override the constitutional mandate of ZEC and unilaterally suspend elections under the guise of a health emergency.

The ERC and WALPE have long opposed government interference in the administration of elections. The High Court’s decision in Ellah Tayengwa & Ors v Zimbabwe Electoral Commission & Ors 1 potentially exposes ZEC to interference. Certainty of process and timelines and uncertainty of outcomes should be the principle that drives government policy. This decision reinforces the suspicion that ZEC’s independence is compromised and casts significant doubt on the certainty of electoral timelines prescribed by the Constitution. ERC and WALPE are concerned that this decision will impact on the future independence of ZEC and the certainty of electoral timelines as outlined in the Constitution. The interpretation by the Court unfortunately opens up the Electoral Commission to usurpation of its administrative functions and independence in terms of section 239 of the Constitution.

The overturning of the Electoral Commission’s decision to hold by-elections in December 2020 by the Minister of Health through SI 225A of 2020 raised a number of concerns chief among them the independence of the Electoral Commission and prescribed timelines to hold elections which are integral to representative democracy. The particular nature of the Electoral Commissions’ duties in terms of preserving democratic principles means that there should be safeguards built to protect the independence of the Commission.

While the Honourable Judge interprets that SI 225A/2020 was necessary in the interests of public safety and public health, the interpretation, unfortunately, fails to answer and protect the independence of the Electoral Commission in terms of election administration in line with sections 158 of the Constitution and sections 39 and 121A of the Electoral Act. Section 235 of the Constitution guarantees that in their operations, independent Commissions are not subject to the direction or control of anyone and no person may interfere with the functioning of the independent Commissions. In pursuit of guaranteeing the credibility and integrity of electoral processes, the independence of the Electoral Commission and electoral integrity must be preserved. Lack of constitutionalism in elections can severely destabilise the relationships between key electoral actors and thus undermine the value of elections to democratic governance.

We call upon all electoral stakeholders to take all necessary measures to mitigate the potential consequences of the High Court’s decision. What has happened is a setback to the credibility and independence of the Commission. The excessive use of executive power to restrict the Electoral Commissions’ independence rather than to expand it and the failure by the Court to correct the anomaly, signals a deeply troubling erosion of ZEC’s democratic values and principles.

Given the potential severely negative consequences of the High Court’s decision, it is necessary that the matter is appealed at a higher court. If not successfully challenged, the Government’s interference in elections, their management and administration could have unforeseen results as the country gears up for the 2023 elections. The independence of ZEC must be upheld at all times and this can only be guaranteed if the Supreme Law of the land is respected accordingly.

Pindula News

Share Article

Sponsored

14 Comments

WILLIAM SONBOY CHINEMBIRI 1 month ago

Still still it doesn't change the fact that the CCC is going to get svasvangaied and regime change agents like you will become dust in the wind.

ANY MAN BORN OF A WOMAN WILL NEVER VOTE FOR ADVOCATE NELSON CHAMISA

Yours sincerely
William Sonboy CHINEMBIRI
[THE ORIGINAL BUSH LAWYER [


User 1 month ago

This one is immature,y faking identify mxxx

Zuze 1 month ago

Thief. Kuba zita hazvireve kuti wabva pfungwa. ChiZANU chiri muropa rako - kuba zita sekuba kwamunoita election here akomana!!! 🙆🏿‍♂️🙆🏿‍♂️🙆🏿‍♂️

Zuze 1 month ago

Thief. Kuba zita hazvireve kuti wabva pfungwa. ChiZANU chiri muroora rako - kuba zita delivers kwamunoita election here akomana!!! 🙆🏿‍♂️🙆🏿‍♂️🙆🏿‍♂️

Yoweeeeee 1 month ago

Shame this impostor revels in a Zanu Pf victory. It's your constitutional rights. Your appetite to see the majority living under abject poverty does not surprise me. It's the DNA of every brainwashed Zanu ediot. They little minds are amused by freebies such as t-shirts, scarves & chicken and chips. No wonder they fight over Bakers Inn crumbs thrown at them like dogs. After feeding on manna from Zanu Pf big weights they begin to hallucinate and call for the killing of CCC supporters. Kutopfeka tie murume Mukuru kuhukura kwahi Chamisa ngaauraiwe. Imbwa dzevanhu. Mhondi!


WILLIAM SONBOY CHINEMBIRI 1 month ago

Tikati pasi nemuroyi tiri kuti muroyi ngaavurawe. Tikati pasi naChamisa tiri kuti Chamisa ngaavurawe.
Pasi pasi neCCC, neZvingasungata zvake.

[NDACHINJA CHIKWESE CHE CCC HACHICHANAKIDZE]
Yours sincerely
William Sonboy CHINEMBIRI
[THE ORIGINAL BUSH LAWYER [

Machiavelli 1 month ago

Now they are unleashing The Green Bombers (maBorder Gezi) on the electorate to cower people into voting for The Old People's Home

Sponsored

Majority Rule 1 month ago

Still still it doesn't change the fact that the CCC is going to get svasvangaied and regime change agents like you will become dust in the wind.

ANY MAN BORN OF A WOMAN WILL NEVER VOTE FOR ADVOCATE NELSON CHAMISA

Yours sincerely
William Sonboy CHINEMBIRI
[THE ORIGINAL BUSH LAWYER [

Bush lawyer for real!!!!!!!!!!


greyhora 1 month ago

Uyu mpfanha anobhema rough utsi hunomudhaka kumuvhara kutadza kuona kuti the winds of change are flowing in our direction. Any mention of Chamisa's name sends shivers down your spines-if you have them. Siya mbanje iwe

Zanu Pf official (themindset) 1 month ago

These are the regime change agents and NGOs working overtime to please their masters the west and the US.
We have ⅔rds majority in parliament and we can make it legal for the executive to influence the judiciary
The executive is the one centre of power and does not need to be told by western imperialist forces we fought for our independence.


Youshouldknow 1 month ago

Britain gave all her colonies Independence (Malawi was the 37 colony to get its Independence in july1964 then Zambia October 1964)
Rhodesia UDI. 1965 and again 1980 by Britain who organized free and fair elections which Zanupf won.

WILLIAM SONBOY CHINEMBIRI 1 month ago

Beware of envious citizens masquerading as [THE ORIGINAL BUSH LAWYER ] who are writing hate speech against CCC political party. Citizens can decipher your style of writing and discover that you are a pseudo Bush Lawyer. I write in the Macbeth style which you can not match.

NDIMI MAPARADZA NYIKA INO IMI NECHI ZANUISM CHENYUCHO.

[ PAVA KUTODA ADVOCATE CHAMISA APA]

[VOTE CCC FOR REAL CHANGE].

Yours sincerely
William Sonboy CHINEMBIRI
[THE ORIGINAL BUSH LAWYER].


sekuru zvaita 1 month ago

WHO IS DOUBTFUL AND DOUBTING.?


Hamuna Nyaya 1 month ago

But its not by-elections only that were stopped during Covid. People couldn't go to work, vamwe we couldn't go kubhawa, vanohodhesa chepakati couldn't work muma streets etc



Leave a comment


Recent News


News Categories



Feedback