Government of Japan Avails USD 1 Million for Electoral SupportSep 6, 2017
Harare, 6 September 2017: Ahead of the 2018 Elections in Zimbabwe, the Government of Japan, through the Project for Supporting Fair and Transparent Elections is contributing USD 1 million to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Capacity Building (ZIM-ECO) initiative implemented by UNDP. The Exchange of Notes for this Grant Aid was signed today by the UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative Mr Bishow Parajuli and His Excellency Ambassador Toshiyuki Iwado at the UN Office in Harare.
The support will be channelled towards the voter education campaigns and strengthening of the ICT capacity of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to support the voter registration process, both of which have the objective to promote citizen participation in the electoral process. It will also enhance the capacity of ZEC and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to mitigate electoral-related violence. In addition, gender mainstreaming in the electoral process is a key project component.
The grant from the Government of Japan increases the resources available for electoral support to ZEC and complements the important financial support from the Government of Zimbabwe, and that of other development partners such as the European Union and UNDP.
Expressing gratitude to the Government of Japan for the contribution, the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative Mr Bishow Parajuli highlighted the importance of this timely support to strengthen the democratic institutions in Zimbabwe in meeting their constitutional mandate. “UNDP, in collaboration with other development partners, remains committed to provide technical and financial support to ZEC as may be required in preparation for the 2018 elections and beyond” said Mr Parajuli.
The Ambassador of Japan to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Ambassador Toshiyuki Iwado described the elections as a cornerstone of democracy and an important milestone for the country.
“The elections provide all Zimbabweans with the opportunity to exercise their sovereign right to choose their representatives for the years to come. As such the electoral process has to be free, fair, transparent, and inclusive,” the Ambassador said.
Thanking the Government and people of Japan for their support to ZEC, Commissioner Emmanuel Magade, the ZEC Deputy Chairperson stated that ZEC is committed to conducting elections that are free, fair, transparent and verifiable. “Ultimately, our desire is to ensure that the outcome of elections represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe” he stressed.