Political & Electoral Rights

Political and electoral rights under New Constitution and Electoral Act

Various political and electoral rights are provided for in the Constitution and the Electoral Act. These are set out below.

Political rights

1. Every Zimbabwean citizen has the right —

 (a)  to free, fair and regular elections for any elective public office established in terms of this Constitution    or any other law; and

 (b)  to make political choices freely.

2. Subject to this Constitution, every Zimbabwean citizen has the right —

  1.  (a)  to form, to join and to participate in the activities of a political party or organisation of their choice;
  2.  (b)  to campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause;
  3.  (c)  to participate in peaceful political activity; and
  4.  (d)  to participate, individually or collectively, in gatherings or groups or in any other manner, in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the Government or any political or whatever cause.

3. Subject to this Constitution, every Zimbabwean citizen who is of or over eighteen years of age has the right-

  1.  (a)  to vote in all elections and referendums to which this Constitution or any other law applies, and to do    so in secret; and
  2.  (b) to stand for election for public office and, if elected, to hold such office.

4. For the purpose of promoting multi-party democracy, an Act of Parliament must provide for the funding of political parties.

Principles of electoral system

1. Elections, which must be held regularly, and referendums, to which this Constitution applies must be—

  1.  (a) peaceful, free and fair;

  2.  (b) conducted by secret ballot;

  3.  (c)  based on universal adult suffrage and equality of votes; and

  4.  (d)  free from violence and other electoral malpractices.

2. The State must take all appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that effect is given to the principles set out in subsection (1) and, in particular, must—

  1.  (a)  ensure that all eligible citizens, that is to say the citizens qualified under the Fourth Schedule, are     registered as voters;
  2.  (b)  ensure that every citizen who is eligible to vote in an election or referendum has an opportunity to cast    a vote, and must facilitate voting by persons with disabilities or special needs;
  3.  (c)  ensure that all political parties and candidates contesting an election or participating in a           referendum have reasonable access to all material and information necessary for them to participate    effectively;
  4.  (d)  provide all political parties and candidates contesting an election or participating in a referendum with    fair and equal access to electronic and print media, both public and private; and
  5.  (e)  ensure the timely resolution of electoral disputes.
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