Speaker of Parliament commits to push ERC, Veritas Amendment Electoral Bill forward

The Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Jacob Mudenda committed to pushing forward the proposed Amendments to the Electoral Act that were drafted by Veritas in collaboration with the Election Resource Centre (ERC). This followed earlier recommendations by electoral stakeholders at a Parliament convened triangulation conference that sought to discuss the ERC petition, held on the 24th and 25th of June 2017 in Bulawayo. The ERC and VERITAS jointly drafted an alternative Electoral Amendment Bill which highlighted issues in need of both alignment and reform. On the 19th of July 2017, Hon Mudenda met with Veritas and the ERC, where he commended the ERC for a successful petition that has for the first time in Zimbabwe’s history, reached this stage. Hon Mudenda accepted the Alternative Electoral Amendment Bill and indicated that he would call for urgent meetings with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, among other relevant authorities to present the document. Additionally, the Speaker of Parliament committed to taking up the electoral reform issue with the Inter-Ministerial Taskforce (IMT), an institutional platform that was established by Cabinet to facilitate Zimbabwe’s legislative alignment process. IMT consists of legal advisors, senior state counsels and representatives from all government ministries and is chaired by Attorney General Advocate Prince Machaya.

The engagement meeting with Speaker of Parliament demonstrated the ERC`s growing ability to influence changes and implementation of electoral laws and policies.