Mwonzora’s NERA Condemns Constitutional Amendments
28 March 2024
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By A Correspondent| The National Elections Reform Agenda (NERA) has issued a staunch rebuke against proposed amendments to the Constitution and the Electoral Act by Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu PF.

Speaking on behalf of NERA, spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora vehemently opposed the amendments, asserting that they pose a significant threat to the independence and integrity of Zimbabwe’s electoral processes.

At the heart of NERA’s objections are amendments that aim to transfer crucial functions such as voter registration and delimitation from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), an independent commission outlined in Chapter 12 of the constitution, back to the Registrar General and the Delimitation Commission.

These bodies, appointed by the executive branch, were part of the previous system rejected by the Zimbabwean people in both the 2013 Constitution and the 2000 referendum.

NERA has articulated two primary reasons for its opposition to these amendments.

“NERA unequivocally denounces these amendments for two primary reasons. Firstly, they represent a direct assault on the independence of chapter 12 institutions, particularly ZEC, secondly, the proposed changes undermine the principle enshrined in the 2013 constitution, thus jeopardizing the progress made towards fair and transparent electoral processes,” said Mwonzora.

According to NERA, upholding the sanctity of the new constitution is imperative, as it was crafted to ensure the independence and efficiency of electoral institutions.

However, the proposed amendments, which seek to remove functions from the ZEC and return them to executive-appointed bodies, represent a regressive step that compromises the democratic aspirations of Zimbabwe.

Moreover, NERA warns that these amendments could dismantle the achievements of the new constitution and undermine ZEC’s ability to function independently and efficiently.

Such actions, the organization contends, would further erode public trust in the electoral process, raising concerns about the fairness and legitimacy of future elections in Zimbabwe