ZEC shoud learn from South Africa’s IEC

Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has expressed his admiration for the professionalism demonstrated by South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) during the ongoing electoral process.

Tomorrow, on 29th May, South African voters will participate in the election to select a 400-member National Assembly, following which the newly elected Members of Parliament will proceed to elect the country’s next president.

Also Read: Chamisa seeks audience with Mnangagwa

In a post on a social media platform, Chamisa emphasized the need for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to take a cue from the IEC in South Africa when it comes to conducting elections.

While no institution is 100% perfect, I commend the independence, extent of integrity and level of professionalism exhibited by the [Independent Electoral Commission] during this election cycle thus far.

The standard set has been fantastic, especially the transparency, accountability and approachability of the IEC of South Africa.

The political and election environment in South Africa has been a template for integrity and fairness to be emulated by all others elsewhere especially [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission].
I’m impressed by how SA conducted the voting process for citizens in the diaspora displaying excellence and global best practices.

Holding credible, unrigged, legitimate and undisputed elections is a key tenet and facet of a New Africa.

The IEC SA has provided an excellent template and source of inspiration giving valuable lessons for election management bodies elsewhere, particularly in Zimbabwe.

State institutions serve as the guardrails and guarantors of functioning and flourishing democracies. Institutions must be free from partisan poison, enclave politics and partocracy.

They must be free to perform their patriotic and constitutional duties allowing citizens to flourish in functioning democracies.

ZEC has faced significant criticism, particularly during the 2023 elections. It was accused of gerrymandering and withholding the Voters Roll in the run-up to the elections and failure to avail ballot papers on voting day.

Gerrymandering refers to the political manipulation of electoral district boundaries with the intent to create undue advantage for a particular party, group, or socioeconomic class within a constituency.

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