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CCC meet Minister Ziyambi, present alternative Electoral Reform Bill

Senior members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) on Wednesday presented their alternative Electoral Reform Bill to Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi.

A team composed of CCC secretary general Chalton Hwende, deputy secretary for elections Ellen Shiriyedenga and Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda submitted a CCC alternative electoral document to Ziyambi.

“Today, our electoral reform task force met with the Minister of Justice to present our alternative Electoral Reform Bill and set out our position on electoral reforms. We reiterate our demand for alignment of the Electoral Law to the Constitution, the voters’ roll among other reforms,” the party said in a statement accompanied by pictures of its officials with Ziyambi.

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere has since pointed out that they view the impending Electoral Amendment Bill as unconstitutional, inadequate, anti-reform and meant to disqualify its candidates ahead of the elections this year.

She said the party demanded the voters’ roll, respect for voting rights and an end to political violence as prerequisites in the bill ahead of 2023 harmonised general elections.

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“This proposed amendment requires aspiring candidates to make solemn declarations that they have no conviction for at least 12 months prior to the election.

“This amendment is calculated to ensure our members who are facing targeted prosecutions and are victims of clear weaponization of the law to silence the opposition do not stand as candidates.

“This implied disqualification clause for Parliamentary candidates violates and is ultra vires the Constitution. The Constitution sets out the only competent grounds for disqualification of Members of Parliament in sections 121, 125 and 129.

“Crucially, there is no mention of disqualification due to prior conviction before tenure of office,” she said.

Mahere further alleged that the draft amendments had been forwarded to Zanu-PF to make sure the ruling party benefits from it.