Electoral Bill's Fast Pace Raises Concern

Harare, April 14, 2014-The Electoral Amendment Bill (HB7, 2013) has raised diverse views from several quarters as interested parties debate on the legislation’s implications.

Reactions to the bill gathered momentum after the second reading in the National Assembly last week.

The Election Resource Centre says its concern is that the bill sailed through at a very fast pace in the senate with no debate and has therefore called for public hearings by presenting a petition to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

However political analyst, Psychology Mazivisa says calling for public hearings smacks of cheap politicking after MDC-T Southerton legislator, Gift Chimanikire last week moved the motion which was shot down by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Cde Emmerson Munangagwa.

Arguments are also centred on the fact that the MDC-T is requesting public hearings with its civic society partners when the party was actually at the forefront of calling for electoral reforms which led to the crafting of the Electoral Amendment Bill.

In addition to correcting anomalies and discrepancies in the electoral act, the bill also seeks to further make other amendments to ensure it conforms with the applicable provisions of the new constitution.

Observers say in trying to politicise the issue, the MDC-T has come on board a bit too late.