The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has voiced concern over proposed Constitutional Amendments that could reshape electoral processes in the country.

In a press statement on Wednesday, ZESN highlighted several key alterations, including the transfer of voter registration from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to the Registrar General’s office.

According to ZESN the move compromises ZEC independence by allowing separate government bodies to perform roles directly linked to the Commission’s duties.

This jeopardizes the Commission’s stewardship of elections, and ultimately erodes citizens’ confidence and trust in electoral processes.

According to ZESN, the proposals to revert to pre-2009 system are both retrogressive and a reversal of past progressive electoral reforms.

The government recently announced that it has set in motion plans to transfer the responsibility to register voters from the ZEC to the Civil Registry Department in sweeping changes to the electoral law meant to streamline the country’s electoral processes.

The authorities are also contemplating revoking delimitation responsibilities from ZEC, proposing a return to the former system where an independent commission was entrusted with delineating electoral boundaries.

Under the proposed changes, which will require an amendment of the Constitution, all voter registration processes will be handled by the RG’s Office, with first-time national identity (ID) card applicants being automatically registered as voters, while deceased individuals are removed from the voters’ roll soon after the issuance of a death certificate.

According to the government, it is envisaged that moving delimitation responsibilities from ZEC will mitigate redundancy in its administrative functions.

The proposed amendments stem from recommendations made by Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators in the Ninth Parliament ahead of last year’s harmonised elections.

Their contributions were made during debate on changes to the Electoral Amendment Act.

The opposition legislators advocated the restoration of voter registration responsibilities to the RG’s Office, a system that was in place before 2009.