The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) have jointly organised a study tour to witness the election of the European Parliament from 15th to 29th May 2014. The study tour is meant to be a lesson-learning and experience-drawing activity and participants will be deployed in Belgium, France, Poland and Sweden respectively.
Given that this is a unique experience, an invitation to participate in the study tour has also be extended to the Electoral Commissions Forum of Southern African Development Community countries (SADC-ECF), SADC-Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF), SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).
The 18 person study tour is organised under the ZEC/EISA project and is financially supported by the EU Delegation in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission held a three day Post 2013 Referendum and Harmonised Election Review Conference at the Harare international Conference Centre. The conference was officially opened by the Honourable Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Comrade Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. The main purpose of the conference is to reflect on the successes and challenges of the 2013 Referendum and the 2013 Harmonised Elections held on the 16th of March and on the 31st of July 2013 respectively and to explore solutions as ZEC begins the new electoral cycle in earnest.
The conference was attended by all electoral stakeholders in Zimbabwe namely; Political Parties, Members of Parliament, Senators, Civil Society Organisations, Faith Based Organisation, Media, Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Academia. There were also representatives of regional organisations such as Southern African Development Community (SADC), Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Electoral Commissions Forum (SADC ECF), Statutory Commissions, Government Ministries and Departments, EISA as well as representatives of the foreign Embassies in Zimbabwe.
Political parties, civil society, the media and the Zimbabwe Republic Police were allocated presentation slots on the theme of their choice in the programme. International and regional election experts also presented insights and best practices in election management at the conference. A total of 232 participants including 65 women and 167 men are attending the conference.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission held a five day workshop to review its Five Year Strategic Plan 2010-2015. The Five Year Strategic Plan was developed in 2010 and it was the first Strategic Plan produced by ZEC. It covers the constitutional mandate of the Commission, against which its Vision, Mission, Core Values, Objectives, strategies, detailed short, medium to long term plans are designed. The objective of the workshop was therefore to take stock of progress made so far on the implementation of the Five Year Strategic Plan and to make necessary adjustments in line with ZEC's expanded constitutional mandate, emerging needs and challenges. The workshop also aimed at developing and introducing an effective performance management system to be implemented in 2014 and thereafter for the purposes to enhance ZEC's capacity to deliver on its mandate in line with the Five Year Strategic Plan.
ZEC and EISA engaged an external consultant to facilitate and lead the review workshop. The Consultant is expected to produce a report which will be used by ZEC and EISA to inform the new proposal of interventions in the new electoral cycle 2014-2018.
The workshop was attended by 129 participants consisting of Commissioners, ZEC Secretariat from the Head Office, Provincial and District offices. A total of 39 participants were females while 90 were men.
12th to 13th December 2013
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission held a two day internal workshop on Voter Registration. The objective of the workshop was to explore the various Voter Registration systems with the view to identify one which is appropriate for Zimbabwe. Organized under the ZEC/EISA project aimed at enhancing the capacity of the ZEC to deliver credible elections, the workshop is the first of the many internal and stakeholder consultations planned by ZEC as it prepares to implement its new constitutional mandate to register voters and administer voters' roll. During the workshop, ZEC also took stock of the existing voter registration system and identified challenges which were faced by the office of the Registrar of Voters which had been charged with registration of voters until the July 2013 Harmonised elections. The following steps will include a comparative experiences workshop with all electoral stakeholders in Zimbabwe with contributions from regional and international expert on voter registration.
A total of 134 participants attended the workshop. A total of 37 participants were females and 97 were males. These included ZEC's Commissioners, Executives, Directors and Deputy Directors, Provincial Election Officers, Deputy Provincial Elections Officers as well as District Election Officers. Other participants were from Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs under which ZEC belongs. EISA was represented at this workshop by its Country Director and Programme Officer who made inputs in the workshop discussions.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and EISA have just returned from a two week study tour to Ghana and Tanzania. The study tour was in line with the ZEC/EISA project and it focused on various aspects of the electoral process including voter and civic education strategies, voter registration systems and stakeholder engagement. Having organised a very successful Constitutional Referendum on the 16th March 2013, the ZEC delegation visited the two countries as a peer learning exercise to draw lessons ahead of the Harmonised elections soon to be held in Zimbabwe. Thus, the delegation assessed the various strategies used by the Election Management Bodies (EMBs) in both countries.
The study tour was a resounding success as the ZEC delegation extracted maximum value through interaction with Senior Election Officials in Ghana and Tanzania. It also toured the IT departments in the two countries where voter registration data is processed and stored. In Tanzania the delegation also met with the Registrar of Political Parties who operates independently of the Electoral Commission.
Led by the ZEC Deputy Chairperson, Mrs Laetitia Joyce Kazembe, and Coordinated by the EISA Country Director, Victor Shale, the delegation consisted of 17 members drawn from the ZEC Secretariat, one Official from the office of the Registrar General of Voters (RGV), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, and a Senior Official from the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs.
EISA used the opportunity provided by the South African 2011 local government elections to organise a study tour for two members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The study mission met with the South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), political parties and other key stakeholders gaining firsthand experience of how South Africa's Multi-Party Liaison Committees function as well as the Conflict Management Panels, a joint partnership with EISA and the IEC, in place to manage election related conflicts. In addition, mission members observed polling day, including the count and announcement of results and met with other regional delegations observing the elections.