The Nomination Court will sit on June 21 to consider and accept candidates in these forthcoming Presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections.

In the same vein, I set August 3 as the day on which Provincial Assemblies of Chiefs shall meet to elect chiefs who will take up seats in the revered Council of Chiefs.

The road is, thus, now clear for our Harmonised Elections, which will be held in terms of the 2023 Delimitation Report, which I also caused to be gazetted much earlier, in compliance with the law.

Both our Constitution and the Electoral Act make our plebiscites predictable and transparent. Everything is in black and white; there is no room for ambushes, something which ensures our elections pan out predictably and evenly.

Equally, our election management body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) last week opened the voters’ roll for inspection by the general public. This, again, is meant to ensure transparency, and to cure any mistakes or anomalies which might be on the roll. I am happy that many Zimbabweans went out to inspect the voters’ roll, and that any anomalies they might have been were drawn to ZEC’s attention for corrective action.

At an appropriate time, Government will invite international observers to our elections, which must run transparently, strictly in terms of our laws, and in fulfilment of guidelines set out by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), our sub-regional body. Government will ensure those invited to observe our elections get their invitations in ample time to make that exercise meaningful.

I am pleased that on the legislative front, there is now greater convergence among political parties on the legal and institutional architecture for future elections, including restoring the Delimitation Commission which we had before, and bringing back the Registrar-General’s Office on voter registration. All these proposed changes are for future elections, and will release ZEC to focus on its core business, namely, that of managing our elections.

From 1985, when our nation conducted its first general elections as a newly independent State, until now, Zimbabwe has never defaulted on its election timetable. She has always gone to the polls when these fall due.

It is a proud record we must strive to uphold as a nation. I am happy that these pending elections are no exception.

Lest the world forgets, the institution of the ballot emerged from, and was won through, our struggles as a people hankering for majority rule, for a non-racial democracy based on one person, one vote, and for complete Statehood untrammelled by foreign domination and direction.

Indeed, we had to take up arms for this wholesome state of affairs to be attained and realised.

To that end, we view our elections as an organic outcome from our liberation struggle, and as a key process for decolonising of our governance system in order to consolidate our sovereignty.

While we benchmark our elections against best practices in the world, we jealously claim and retain a strong sense of proprietorship over the democracy which we ourselves inaugurated in 1980, and which we have enjoyed since, alongside the plebiscitary rituals it periodically occasions.

We will never tire of reminding the world that our elections are a facet of our hard-won democracy, and, thus, an institution exclusively reserved for us as Zimbabweans to shape, to participate in and, in the final analysis, to enjoy and judge.

Any and all changes we seek legislatively; changes which we provide for institutionally; and which we claim through democratic praxis, are meant to make our democracy even more wholesome for our people, who are its sole litmus test.

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