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If we are militarised, so what: ZEC

ZEC Spokesman Jasper Mangwana

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THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said there was no law prohibiting the elections management body from being run by the military.

“You talk about the militarisation of the commission, I will ask a very simple question: Do we have a legal and provisional framework on recruitment of former serving officers?” Zec spokesperson Jasper Mangwana said in response to a question on the militarisation of Zec posed by Gweru legislator Brian Dube at a Twitter Spaces event organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network on Monday evening.

He claimed that calls by the opposition and other critics for the demilitarisation of Zec were informed by ignorance.

“Can you make it into law that if someone applies at Zec and wants a job and is a former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) employee, even if he has the qualifications to be a driver or maybe a clerk in the commission, the commission must not consider them because for us to act without the law it means we are going to be infringing other people’s rights,” Mangwana said.

Zec has been under the spotlight over the recruitment of former and serving officers, with critics, saying this was denting the electoral body’s credibility.

In 2018, Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba disclosed that at least 15% of the elections administrator’s staff, then over 380, were ex-service personnel.

Its chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana is a retired army officer and has a long history of running disputed elections since the era of the late former President Robert Mugabe.

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