Harare – Zimbabwe’s minister of justice has reportedly said that there is “no need for electoral reforms” a few months ahead of the country’s crunch elections later this year.
According to Voice of America (VOA), the recently appointed justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has rejected calls for major electoral reforms, saying: “Everything that they are complaining about is clearly covered within our constitution and our laws.”
He claimed that the country’s controversial electoral body was independent and was “not subject to the control of anyone”.
He added that Zimbabwe’s laws are in line with those of the African Union and the Southern African regional bloc SADC.
“In so far as we are concerned, we believe that we should not just waste resources doing cosmetic changes to the legislation that are already materially covered by the existing legislation.”
‘Free and fair election’
Ziyambi’s remarks came after the country’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to deliver a “free and fair election” later this year.
Mnangagwa made that pledge after the surprise axing of former president Robert Mugabe, who had led the southern African country for more than three decades.
Mugabe was accused by both international and domestic observers of using fraud and intimidation to win elections in 2002, 2008 and 2013.
Mugabe’s iron fist rule led several opposition parties under the banner of Zimbabwe National Electoral Reform Agenda to hold protests and petition the government to institute reforms.
Some of the demands made by the opposition parties included allowing the country’s citizens in the diaspora to participate in the vote.
They also wanted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to introduce a biometric vote, and to allow the United Nation to run the elections.
Furthermore, according to Movement for Democratic Change spokesperson Obert Gutu, a sustained campaign on electoral reforms would help the country to have undisputed elections results.
The Daily News previously reported that at least 10 opposition parties were signatories to the electoral reforms in June.