Lobby group raises alarm about Zim elections
Tawanda Chimhini‚ director of the Election Resource Centre‚ says the developments in Zimbabwe were not expected.
He was speaking at the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum conference in Parktown‚ Johannesburg.
Chimhini is giving attendees an overview of the pre-election status of Zimbabwe. The country is scheduled to go to the polls next year.
“An election remains‚ regardless of what is happening now‚ the only democratic rule for change in Zimbabwe‚” Chimhini said.
“That is the only way citizens will be able to determine who will lead them ... and how those people will lead them.
“What has been happening in the past few hours is not expected.”
Zimbabwe is in the grip of what some have called a military coup but the defence force insists that they are merely restoring order.
Chimhini said Zimbabwe was‚ as per international standards‚ in the pre-election phase but preparations were far behind what was required.
“Things that you are supposed to be seeing are election planning‚ there must be at least some budgeting process for elections‚ an election calendar and some form of operational plan such as logistics‚ security and procurement‚” he said.
All of these aspects‚ he said‚ were incomplete or lacking clarity.
According to Chimhini‚ the Electoral Commission had requested a budget of $240-million‚ but had to date been unable to provide an exact breakdown of what the funds would be used for.
“Gone are the days where we must just sit back and see who wins an election. The quality of the process must be challenged‚” he said.