By Jane Mlambo| The Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) has scored a major victory after they pushed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to create a single column ballot paper for the Presidential elections in a move that could create problems for Zanu PF.
In the 2018 elections, ZEC caused a stir when it created a double column to put the Zanu PF Presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa on top.
The move was widely seen as favoring Mnangagwa whose name would have been placed somewhere in the middle of the column considering his surname while main opponent Nelson Chamisa the second making him more visible to voters.
“It is proposed that a provision be inserted in the Electoral Act prescribing that the ballot paper shall have a single column of names of candidates in alphabetical order of surnames, whatever length,” reads part of the POLAD Declaration on Electoral Reforms.
According to one of the POLAD principals Professor Lovemore Madhuku told a local online publication that they had 20 things they wanted to push through but succeeded on 16 due to constitutional limitations.
“We want people to see what we have tried,” Madhuku said.
“We actually had 20 things we wanted to see implemented, and four had to be removed completely because they touched on the constitution. That’s my frustration with the current constitution. You can’t do so many things unless you change the constitution. We pushed hard to change the current winner-takes-all system in favour of proportional representation; and diaspora voting was difficult because the Constitutional Court already ruled that the constitution does not provide for that,” added Madhuku.