The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) deployed long term observers (LTOs) to observe the Nomination Court proceedings in all 10 provinces across the country and came up with a cocktail of recommendations.
The LTOs observed proceedings in a total of 116 Nomination Courts including Ward level, national assembly and the presidential nomination courts across all 10 provinces on the day of the court sitting, 14 June 2018.
Based on the observations in that report, ZESN made a number recommendations. The independent electoral body said the law needs to provide a specific timeframe for when the final voters’ roll should be availed to the political contestants, before the sitting of the Nomination Court.
In that regard, stricter control over how political party primaries are conducted could be considered for future elections, including an insistence on choice by secret ballot, they said.
On one hand, political parties were urged to endeavour to strengthen intra-party democracy processes to avoid conflicts. ZESN said the Nomination Court procedures should include a provision for clear announcement of the reasons for rejection of each candidate to ensure transparency to observers and party agents so as to enhance the credibility of the process.
Political parties and independent candidates were encouraged to submit their nomination papers before the day that the Court sits so that they have time to rectify any challenges such as missing or incorrect documentation.
“Political parties must put in place mechanisms to ensure equal representation between male and female candidates. There is need for ZEC and CSOs to conduct comprehensive voter education for nomination to ensure that prospective candidates are aware of requirements of the Nomination Court,” ZESN said.