HARARE, April 30 — The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it will continue engaging all stakeholders in an effort to improve the electoral systems in order to remove controversy surrounding elections in the country.

Concerns have been raised, especially by opposition parties and Western-sponsored civil society organizations, that electoral processes in Zimbabwe are shrouded in secrecy, leaving room for vote-rigging and tempering with the voters’ roll.

In her closing remarks at an all-stakeholders voter registration workshop here Tuesday, ZEC Chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said the commission would work with interested parties to improve the electoral systems.

The workshop was aimed at gathering input into the new voter registration model that ZEC wants to introduce. The proposed model, to be implemented in three phases, will introduce polling station-based voting as opposed to the ward-based system used in previous elections.

The ZEC is now mandated to conduct voter registration, taking over the duty from the Registrar-General’s Office.

“In ZEC we always want to travel far, that is why we always engage our stakeholders,” Justice Makarau said. “I want to assure you that we have taken you this far with us, please trust us. We are not leaving you behind.

“Each and every one of you has a role to play and we are very aware of that role and we know that engagement with you starts participation lines which will make our elections legitimate. The minute we leave you behind we are opening our processes to all sorts of questions.”

She said the ZEC would try and rid the electoral systems of irregularities including inadequate voter education among other challenges.

“We want to assure you as ZEC we are trying all we can to address all those anomalies, irregularities, inadequacies and inappropriateness that may have been found in the processes before,” she said.

Zimbabwe is due to hold its next general election in 2018.