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Zim Cabinet Under Pressure to Amend Electoral Law

President Robert Mugabe
Cabinet is under pressure to amend the Electoral Amendment Bill as President Robert Mugabe’s presidential decree on the amendments last year is expiring after its six-month constitutional limit.

Government now has to align the electoral amendments to the new constitution through parliament which officially opens its 2014 session on January 21st.

Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is said to have completed analyzing the bill to be presented in parliament. But the Zimbabwe Election Support Network says while it welcomes the government’s efforts to align the laws to the constitution, it is seriously concerned that the government wants to bring back postal voting which had been scrapped and replaced by special voting.

ZESN national director Rindai Chipfunde Vava said postal voting can be used for rigging.

Meanwhile, the government has finally invited civil servants representatives to their second joint negotiating meeting Wednesday next week after their first encounter at the end of December 2013 was judged “inconclusive” by some civil servants unions.

The new Apex Council chairperson and Zimbabwe Teachers Association president Richard Fundani says they hope that the government will this time have something to offer after its representatives had requested more time to consult with their superiors.

Despite assurances from Labour Minister Nicholas Goche and Civil Service Commission chairman Mariyawanda Nzuwa that the government will effect a token increment before the end of last year, nothing materialized.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe threatened to strike if schools open without the meeting taking place or the government committing itself.

But PTUZ secretary Raymond Majongwe told Studio 7 on Friday that they will attend the Wednesday meeting with their guns at ready.

Schools will open Tuesday, a day before the much awaited meeting. Civil servants are demanding that the lowest paid worker get salaries in tandem with the poverty datum line, currently pegged at $570.