Government will spearhead political and electoral reforms and is eager to carry out these reforms in the shortest possible time to enhance democracy in Zimbabwe, an official has said.
Speaking at the ongoing Electoral reforms conference in Kadoma, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said an Inter-Ministerial Committee has been set up to deal with electoral reforms adding that a report will be soon presented to the President and Cabinet for approval.
Minister Ziyambi said Government has so far unbundled the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) to demonstrate its commitment to political reforms.
The two-day conference organised by SAPST and supported by USAID is bringing together key stakeholders in ventilating the democratic electoral process. The conference is a result of the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) petition to Parliament which raised a number of pertinent issues with regards to electoral reforms.
With regards to ensuring that there is women participation and equal representation in Parliament, Minister Ziyambi said Government will extend the quota system after the expiry of the proportional representation quota in 2023.
The proportional representation quota is a section in the Constitution which provides for the equal representation of women in Parliament through the appointment of 60 additional non-constituency female legislators as part of efforts to empower women.
However, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission chairperson Mrs Sangarwe was opposed to Government’s view saying the system should be removed as it has created vacuum leaders, with no constituencies placing a burden on the fiscus. She advocated for the retainment of the First-Past-the Post (FPTP) electoral system, having people voting for parties rather than for individuals.
Furthermore, Mrs Sangarwe recommended the amendment of Political Parties Finances Act and include monetary incentives for Party compliance with gender parity and other representation.
The conference is being attended by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Parliament officials, Independent Commissions, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Chiefs and Civil Society Organisations.