Gvt urged to invite SADC to assess  the country’s electoral environment

By William Milasi

For the country to have a semblance of a free and fair national plebiscite it would have been ideal to bring in the SADC Electoral Advisory Council to provide an assessment of the obtaining electoral environment in the country.

Program Head Southern African Program of the Institute of Security Studies Piers Pigou said the country is headed for a disputed poll.

“There is no doubt that the electoral playing field is uneven,” he said.

Pigou said the obtaining environment makes it difficult for the country to have a credible plebiscite.

“At this juncture it appears that there is a lot of concern around these elections. We need to have a through assessment of the conditions as they relate to SADC principles and AU Charter and governance that would be helpful. It would have been helpful if the government had brought in SADC Electoral Advisory Council to provide assessment of conditions which would have shored up some credibility because at the moment the narration we are having is that we are headed for an election that is not free and fair,” he said.

He added that the electoral management board has made the situation worse.

“We have a compromised electoral management board that is not giving access to a voters roll, and has presided over a controversial delimitation process. We have read problems of under registration were significant parts of the population remain disenfranchised as a result of these. Also we have the manipulation of vote resources to secure local support amongst other issues,” he said.

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