Bill Watch Parliamentary Committees Series 34-2016

BILL WATCH

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES 34/2016

[21st October2016]

Public Hearings on Petition to Parliament for Electoral Law Reform

Monday 24th to Sunday 30th October

 

The Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs will be conducting public hearings across the country on the Election Resource Centre's Petition to Parliament for Electoral Law Reform.  The hearings will start in Harare on Monday 24th October and end on Sunday 30th October in Gweru.  The full programme for the scheduled seven public hearings is as follows —

Monday 24th October – Harare

Venue:  Senate Chamber, Parliament Building, Kwame Nkrumah Avenue

Time:    2.00 pm

Tuesday 25th October – Concession

Venue:  Concession Rural District Council Hall

Time:    10.00 am

Wednesday 26th October - Mutoko

Venue:  Mutoko Rural District Council

Time:    10.00 am

Thursday 27th October - Mutare

Venue:  Mutare Civic Centre Hall

Time:    10.00 am

Friday 28th October – Bulawayo

Venue:  Iminyela Hall

Time:    10.00 am

Saturday 29th October - Gwanda

Venue:  Gwanda Hotel

Time:    10.00 am

Sunday 30th October - Gweru

Venue:  Gweru Theatre Main Auditorium

Time:    10.00 am

About the Petition

[for full text of petition please see attachment to this bulletin]

Early in February the Speaker announced in the National Assembly that Parliament had received the petition and that it had been referred to the appropriate Portfolio Committee, i.e., the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  The petitioners are the Election Resource Centre, a Zimbabwean civil society organisation, and its members, all of whom are citizens of Zimbabwe.  A number of other civil society organisations, including Veritas, were consulted and support the petition. 

The petition beseeches Parliament to implore the Executive to uphold the Constitution by ensuring—

that the Electoral Law is reviewed in compliance with undertakings previously given by the Executive and in compliance with the Constitution, and

that a legal framework is put in place that guarantees an undisputed electoral process.

and enumerates eight issues that Parliament is requested to take into account—

Enhancing the Independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Reviewing all legislation that negatively impacts on the Political Environment, hence on the electoral process and its outcomes.

Reviewing provisions relating to Voters Registration and the Voters' Roll to ensure they enhance the credibility of Zimbabwean elections.

Enhancing Voter Education by creating more space for stakeholders other than ZEC.

Extending the franchise and the Right to Vote to all citizens of Zimbabwe, wherever they may be.

Reconstituting the Electoral Court in compliance with the Constitution.

Ensuring that the invitation of Election observers is an exclusive function of the body entrusted with the conduct of the polls.

Enhancing the role of ZEC in electoral boundary Delimitation.

Pages 4 to 7 of the petition go into more detail on these eight issues.

Attendance at the Public Hearings

The public, including interested groups and organisations, are all invited to the public hearings.  They provide an opportunity for ensuring that members of the Portfolio Committee become aware of public opinion on the issues raised by the petition.   Contributions made at the hearings will be considered by the Portfolio Committee and will be part of the Committee’s report on the petition when that report is ready for presentation to the National Assembly.   [Note: Those who are not able to attend the public hearings are free to send in written submissions, as explained below.]

Warning  Persons wearing military uniforms, signs of ranks, badges and political regalia will not be allowed access to the public hearings.

Written submissions

Written submissions and correspondence are also welcome and should be addressed to The Clerk of Parliament and marked for the attention of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and—

sent by email – addressed to clerk@parlzim.gov.zw, or

delivered – if delivering, use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament, between Second and Third Streets, Harare, or

sent by post – to  P.O. Box CY298 Causeway, Harare.

Queries

If you require more information, please contact the Portfolio Committee Clerk, Precious Zenda-Mudzvova, using the following contact details—

Telephone: : +263-4-700181 or 252941

Mobile: 0772 281 533

Email: zendap@parlzim.gov.zw

Other Relevant Documents Available from Veritas

Constitution of Zimbabwe [follow this link to the relevant webpage on the Veritas website]

 

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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If you wish to contact Veritas please email veritas@mango.zw

If you are requesting legislation please email veritas@mango.zw or look for it on www.veritaszim.net

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