Some See New Zimbabwe Elections in Two Years - But Electoral System in Disarray
Some See New Zimbabwe Elections in Two Years - But Electoral System in Disarray

Though both Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have urged their respective ZANU-PF and Movement for Democratic Change supporters to be ready for elections in two years, the country's electoral system remains a shambles in the wake of 2008 elections marred by slow counts, disputed results and violence.

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa said this week that it may seek action against Zimbabwe by Southern African Development Community's Namibian-based tribunal if Harare does not respond to concerns it has expressed about the composition of the overhauled Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and other issues to do with electoral irregularities.

ACT President Norman Tijombe said his organization wrote to the president and the prime minister two months ago warning against the appointment of members of the old Electoral Commission to the new panel citing the former ZEC's "bungling" of the 2008 elections.

The short list for the reconstituted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission includes former ZEC Deputy Chairwoman Joyce Kazembe and member Theophilus Gambe.

Tjombe told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the 2008 ballot set a bad precedent for African elections and said real reform is needed.

Elsewhere, a preliminary report from the Research and Advocacy Unit, a non-governmental organization, says Zimbabwe's national voters roll contains the names of more than 74,000 people who according to the records are more than 100 years old.

The reports recommends a re-registration process for the whole country before the next national elections, monitored by independent electoral specialists to ensure "democratic, universally acceptable and procedurally transparent" elections in Zimbabwe.

Tinoziva Bere, chairman of the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network, said the information in the latest report shows that the electoral rolls must be completely overhauled.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...