elections

IEC Seminar Focuses on e-Voting

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has hosted a two-day seminar on electronic voting (e-voting) and counting technologies in Cape Town.
 
IEC vice-chairperson, Terry Tselane, states that the purpose of the event was to stimulate debate on electronic voting and counting.
 
"We are confident that our democracy has reached a level of maturity whereby we can have a healthy, robust discussion of the complex issues that require consideration before embarking on the journey of implementing e-voting, should we decide to do so," he explains.
 

NGO Employees Flee Ahead of Elections

Reports say dozens of NGO employees have fled their workplaces amid fears of an increased crack down on civic organisations by state security agents in Zimbabwe.

The development follows a series of raids on NGOs by the police, in which offices of three NGOs were ransacked in the past two weeks and property worth thousands of dollars taken away by suspected state security agents.

IEC to Involve CSOs in 2014 Elections

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has called on the South Africa’s civil society organisations (CSOs) to participate in the processes aimed at preparing the country for the 2014 elections.

IEC spokesperson, Kate Bapel, points out that the IEC value the contribution of CSOs in supporting and advancing democracy in South Africa.

She says the electoral commission has been partnering with the civil society sector for effective interventions in the country’s communities that sought active citizenship, especially with respect to marginalised and vulnerable groups.

Sub-Saharan Africa ‘Freedom and Democracy’ Rankings Up

Sub-Saharan African countries have seen major advances in freedom and democracy, according to the report ‘Freedom in the World 2013’ presented in the European Parliament.

The report by United States-based NGO, Freedom House, report marks the seventh consecutive year in which countries with declines outnumbered those with improvements.

NGOs Pushes for SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has called for an extra-ordinary Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit to adopt an election road-map for Zimbabwe before elections are held.

In a press statement at the end of its week-long Malawi mission, CiZC said as deputy chairperson of SADC - and the regional grouping's in-coming chairperson - Malawi is strategically-placed to deal with issues in Zimbabwe.

Ramphele Unveils Political Plans

Activist Mamphela Ramphele has officially launched a new political party platform at a news conference in Johannesburg, promising to ‘build the country of our dreams’.

Ramphele says the new party will be called, Agang, which is Sesotho for ‘build’, and will ‘declare war on corruption’.

The new party, which already has a website and twitter handle, and will contest the 2014 national elections since “... dream has faded for many living in poverty and destitution.”

Zimbabwe Police Raid NGO Office

Zimbabwe police have raided the offices of a prominent human rights organisation in what lawyers say is the latest attempt to intimidate campaigners in that country.

Spokesperson for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Kumbirai Mafunda, “At least seven police officers in civilian clothes raided the offices of the Zimbabwe Peace Project and took some documents, including reports and CDs.”

Speaking on behalf of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, Mafunda was of the view that, “This is purely harassment and another crackdown on human rights defenders.”

Zim Police Crack Down on NGOs

Zimbabwean police have raided the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) offices in Bulawayo, searching for alleged voter registration certificates.

The raid, which was also aimed at other documents containing information that may adversely affect the interests of the state, coincided with the summoning of Bulawayo-based Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer, Dumisani Nkomo, to Plumtree for questioning by police over a meeting the organisation held in the area recently.

Activist Arrested for Alleged Election Fraud

Zimbabwe's police have arrested and charged a director of a human rights organisation for alleged election fraud.

Beatrice Mtetwa, lawyer for the accused, says that Zimrights director, Okay Machisa, had been charged for scanning voter registration certificates with false names and misrepresenting that these people had been registered as voters.

Zimbabwe police over the years have led a crackdown on non-governmental organisations seen as critical of President Robert Mugabe's rule.

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