News / Africa

Zimbabwe Election Preparations Remain in Limbo

— The Zimbabwe prime minister’s office said Thursday it expects the country’s electoral commission to start preparing for polls. But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it does not have the funding and does not know when it will get it. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Zimbabwe is well behind schedule with reforms needed to ensure the country has credible national elections.

Preparations for Zimbabwe's next elections, expected sometime this year, have not yet begun.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai summoned the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the ministers of justice, finance and home affairs to ensure that election preparations kick off.

After the meeting, which lasted about two hours, the prime minister’s spokesperson William Bango said, “All the major items have been cleared. And the registration exercise should start anytime. ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) is now fully in charge of the process because it is now an operation which they are constitutionally expected to execute.”

But Joyce Kazembe, the ZEC acting chairperson, told journalists that the commission was still waiting for money to start preparing for polls The commission said it needs nearly $200 million to hold a constitutional referendum and the elections.

“The budget was approved a long time ago. We are just waiting for it to be released to us. We want to go on the outreach," said Kazembe. "It was supposed to start on the 3rd [of January]. Once we get the money we are off. We were promised that it will be released like very soon. And very soon is a relative term, it could be released today, it could be tomorrow.”

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party is pushing hard for elections to end a four-year-old unity government with Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC party.

The election preparations are being held up, in part, by the impasse over Zimbabwe's new constitution. The Southern African Development Community has insisted a new constitution be in place before the elections.

But ZANU-PF and the MDC are deadlocked over a proposed reduction of presidential powers, among other issues.

If and when the parties bridge their differences, the new constitution must be approved in a nationwide referendum before the elections can be held.

A report released Thursday by Human Rights Watch said, besides a needed new constitution, Zimbabwe has yet to repeal or amend repressive laws to ensure the country has a credible election.

The last elections in 2008 were deeply marred by violence, most of it by ZANU-PF supporters against backers of the MDC.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid