elections

Democracy for Sale? The Need for Transparency in Political Party Funding

Transparency in political party funding, particularly from private sources, remains a divisive topic in South African politics. Recently, Dr Mamphela Ramphele, leader of the newly-formed Agang South Africa, made a bold move and revealed her personal wealth. Her intention was to demonstrate that, unlike many other politicians, she believes in transparency and accountability. While this may be a laudable initiative by her as an individual, she did not divulge who was funding her political party.

SADC Questions Fairness of Zimbabwe Poll

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) says that the fairness of Zimbabwe's election is questionable because the voters' roll was distributed by the national electoral commission too late for it to be verified.

Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister and head of the SADC election observer mission, Bernard Membe, points out that, "If the voters' roll isn't made available on time, the fairness of the election is brought into question."

Membe adds that overall however, the polls were free, peaceful and generally credible.

Call to Lift Zim Sanctions

Southern African leaders have called on the West to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe as they rubber-stamped President Robert Mugabe's victory in last month's disputed elections.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) SADC incoming chairperson, Malawi President Joyce Banda, points out that, "I believe Zimbabwe deserves better, Zimbabweans have suffered enough."

The regional bloc also commended the government of Zimbabwe for the peaceful manner in which elections were conducted and congratulated Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF party for the overwhelming win.

Call for UN to Boycott UNWTO in Zimbabwe

An international non-governmental organisation that monitors the performance of the United Nations (UN), UN Watch, has called for a boycott of the upcoming UN tourism meeting being hosted by Zimbabwe this month.

UN Watch monitoring group, which has called for a high level boycott of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly begins on 26 August 2013, with Zimbabwe and Zambia co-hosting the globally significant event.

NGOs Petition SADC Over Zim Elections

Scores of NGOs from Southern Africa are stepping up pressure on the regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to discuss the disputed Zimbabwe elections at a summit scheduled for Malawi this week.

One of the civil society organisations, Action Support Centre, has been quoted as saying that the NGOs are also planning demonstrations across the region, starting with one in Cape Town.

Diamond Revenue Linked to Vote Rigging - NGO

Global Witness has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to fully investigate claims that Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party is attempting to rig the country's elections.
 
The watchdog warned that there is strong evidence to suggest that ZANU PF has secured large funds from the country's lucrative diamond mines which it may now be spending on undemocratic tactics such as tampering with the electoral roll.
 

SADC Urged Tsvangirai to Quit Polls

Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party took part in Zimbabwe’s elections against advice from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which urged him to withdraw from the polls.
 
A high-level diplomatic source has been quoted as saying that the SADC told Tsvangirai at a summit in Maputo in June not to take part in the elections.
 

NGO Criticises Zim Over Tsunga’s Arrest

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) has criticised the arrest of Movement for Change (MDC) parliamentary candidate, Arnold Tsunga, and 50 supporters.
SALC, which also condemns the banning of a political rally in Harare,” calls on that country’s electoral commission and electoral observers deployed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union to investigate and address the recent incarceration of Tsunga to ensure that the rights of all stakeholders are respected and protected during this important time.

Zimbabwean Police Arrest Top Rights Lawyer

Zimbabwean police have arrested a prominent rights lawyer running for parliament against the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF).
 
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says Arnold Tsunga, who is vying for a seat in the eastern city of Mutare, was detained together with his campaign team allegedly for holding an unauthorised rally.
 
The organisation says that the detained are still at Dangamvura police station and the police have indicated their intention to transfer them to Mutare Central Police Station.
 

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