An official of the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) has said that the opposition needs to find types of political pressure that yield reforms ahead of the 2023 elections.
The official, Ian Goredema, was speaking at a SAPES Trust discussion in Harare titled “An Internationally Acceptable Election in Zimbabwe: Is This Possible in the Current Political Context.”
The things required for the government to play ball are electoral reforms. The burden lies squarely on the opposition to determine the type of political pressure they are able to come up with.
Civil Society researcher, Phillan Zamchiya, said that key ingredients required for the holding of free and fair elections are missing, such as a way to keep in check the role of the security services and traditional leaders.
There have been complaints about the conduct of critical stakeholders like the security services and their role in politics.
Unfortunately, one of the key ingredients which was going to help change the conduct of the security services is what the Constitution in its wisdom had suggested, which is the setting up on an independent complaints mechanism which allows citizens to lodge a complaint against the security services conduct whenever they feel aggrieved to moderate their role in elections.
The role of traditional leaders has not necessarily been helpful in strengthening the integrity of electoral processes and rightly play a partisan role in the manner they involve themselves in elections, which is sad.
ZESN is a group of 37 non-governmental organisations working to promote democratic elections in Zimbabwe.
SAPES Trust is an NGO founded and headquartered in Harare, Zimbabwe, whose stated objective is to promote social science research, debate, teaching and publications in Southern Africa. SAPES is led by academic, author and former media entrepreneur, Ibbo Mandaza.