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ActionAid Zimbabwe Urges Government to Prioritize the Domestication of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

Press Statement

Harare - 22 March 2022: ActionAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) is elated to note that the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) has deposited the instruments of ratification for the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) to which Zimbabwe is now bound by the Charter. AAZ is now calling on the government to fully implement the Charter through domestication.

ACDEG is an African Union (AU) instrument that sets the standard and principles for good governance, popular participation, rule of law and human rights in Africa. To date, 34 African countries have deposited the instruments of ratification and ratified the Charter making Zimbabwe the 35th.

AAZ’s advocacy work, in partnership with various civil society organisations, the media, and Activista Zimbabwe has been premised on advocating for the ratification of the Charter. This has been done working in close liaison with the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Ministries of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

AAZ appreciates the efforts made by the GoZ in guaranteeing the ratification of the Charter as exemplified by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who in March 2018 signed the Charter, to ensure that the country operates within the dictates of regional instruments. Despite this positive effort, the Charter is yet to be legally binding on Zimbabwe as a State party either in terms of the Constitution or in terms of the Charter.

The 26 March 2022 by-elections, the upcoming 2023 general elections, and the successive electoral cycle, are an opportune time for the GoZ to demonstrate political will to be truly bound by the Charter. As such, AAZ urges the government to create an environment that encourages popular participation, without intimidation, and to hold free, fair, and transparent elections.

While the ratification of the ACDEG is a positive step in terms of committing to credible pre-and post-election processes, AAZ now therefore calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to:

• Domesticate the Charter and effect electoral changes in line with the spirit, the purport, and the objectives of the Charter.

• Support the ratification with electoral reforms necessary to achieve free, fair, and credible elections.

• Ensure that the nation aligns its laws, national systems and l governance to the ethics and principles of the charter.

For more details please contact: ActionAid Zimbabwe Country Director, Joy Mabenge: Email or Mobile +263 772904479 Twitter: | Facebook: | Website: ENDS//