ZEC strengthens electoral management team
Harare (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has begun hunting for two deputy chief elections officers as it seeks to fortify its top electoral management team ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The public invitation of applications for suitable candidates to fill in the posts dispels theories by opposition parties that ZEC’s recruitment policy was not transparent and that it was influenced by the ruling Zanu PF party.
In July, ZEC appointed Utoile Silaigwana as substantive Chief Elections Officer after he beat several other candidates who had applied for the top job.
In a statement, ZEC said it intended to hire two deputy chief elections officers, one responsible for operations and the other for administration.
Duties of the deputy chief elections officer for operations would include; “Providing leadership in organisation rebranding, election logistics, voter registration and education, delimitation and polling processes,” it said.
“(Other roles include) strategising and coordinating the conduct of all referendum and elections to the offices stipulated by law (and) planning, coordinating and directing all electoral activities in accordance with the electoral cycle.”
On the other hand, the deputy chief elections officer administration would be responsible for among other things; “Planning coordinating and directing administrative election support activities.”
With the next election due in 2023, Zec has already initiated reforms that were recommended by various stakeholders after the 2018 harmonised polls.
An example being the production of a consolidated electoral reform package for consideration by Parliament following wide consultations with stakeholders.
Zec is also piloting the display of the voters’ roll outside polling stations during National Assembly and local authority by-elections in line with the Southern African Development Community guidelines on the conduct of democratic elections.
Displaying the voters’ roll outside polling stations is expected to improve transparency and dispel allegations of ghost voters.
The issue of voter’s roll has been contentious in previous elections in Zimbabwe and the new system would assist to dispel any mistrust.