ERC triggers intense discussion on election funding, government persuaded to respond

Sustained policy engagement and advocacy pressure on the funding of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has yielded positive results as it has culminated in policy movements and discussions at the highest level of government. Since the budget presentation in December 2016, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) has led policy engagement and advocacy efforts for improvement of funding for elections ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections. These efforts, among others, have seen the ZEC chairperson announcing government commitment to fund Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), which had not been funded in the budget allocation. Additionally, on 22 February 2017, the House of Assembly had intense discussions on the funding of elections and its effects on free, fair, and credible elections. The Vice President and Minister of Justice, Honourable ED Mnangagwa (answering questions) reiterated government policy in relation to commitment on free, fair, and credible elections including through funding elections. The ERC initiated policy engagement through letters to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, and the Parliament of Zimbabwe on the need for increased funding and effects thereof, an Election Cost Assessment discussion paper and media advocacy.