Come 2018 election challenges for Zimbabwe

Elections are indespensable root of democracy as they are now universal and Zimbabwe is no exception as they prepare for 2018 elections. For them to be credible we need to see high stardards before, during and after votes are cast.

If the government of Zimbabwe involves itself in the procument of the biometric voter registration, (BVR) is this going to be attained?

Why should government authorities ban demonstrations hiding behind a finger saying that they could turn violent yet its the police who turn violet on peaceful demonstrators. They use aggresive, unnessary and excessive force against protesters, bystanders, legal observers and even journalists.

However, the police seem to forget that its their duty to arrest any protester who turn violet. Limiting the number of people who should turn up for any demonstration is not their duty and is unconstitutional.

In a democratic country, opposition organizations should be free to take part in organizing and campaigning without fear. Above all every opposition part should enjoy the same level playing field.

Zimbabwe can only prosper in all aspects of development if the electorate believes that the elections have been free and fair and this aspect on its own can be a powerful catalyst for better governance and socio-economic development. This can come about through proper voter registration.

If we have ZANU-PF dominating as it has done in the past,  almost 37 years, we will continue to witness an increase in corruption, intimidation and very poor living standards.

Zimbabwe government should not be found involving themselves in the purchase of BVR kits as this clearly raises eyebrows in their intention to manipulate in the rigging of 2018 elections. This is indicated by their pledge of $17million towards this project.

Citizens have risked their lives to call for free elections, democratic accountability, the rule of law and respect of human rights through stagging demonstrations.

Some have disappeared, brutalised, injured, and imprisoned on trumped charges in this process.

On the polling day the electorate must feel safe and trust the secrecy and intergrity of the baĺlot hence ZANU-PF should remove itself from coercing the chiefs to frog jump their subjects to the polling stations.

In Zimbabwe elections have been used as a veneer of democratic legitimacy but people, because of growing inequality and poverty, are putting pressure to show the current government that their concerns are relevant to their well being too.

As Zimbabweans, let us aim at establishing a healthy society by working together to attain this goal through peace and harmony.

If other countries are doing it in Africa e.g. Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Gambia and South Africa – just to mention a few – what reason do we have not to implement BVR in the proper manner?

Let us strive to prepare for 2018 election as one based on the democratic princciples of universal suffrage and political equality as reflected in the international standards and agreements and is professional, impartial and transparent in its preparation  and adminstration throughout the electoral cycle.

The BVR, if properly and professionally done, brings with it a number of advatages when it comes to voting. It coveys to the voters a feeling of pride in their right to participate in the electoral process, reliable form of identification, serves as acknowledgement that the voter is duly registered and may include sevaral identifying features such as photography, signature, fingerprints hence providing greater assurance that the voter is who he or she claims to be. The card can be marked when the voter has obtained a ballot, preventing multiple voting and  can be effective form of identification where many voters have no fixed address.

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