Harare 27 July 2012 - The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a group of 31 non-governmental organisations working to promote democratic elections in Zimbabwe has elected a new Board to steer the Network for the next five years.



ZESN held its 12th Annual General Meeting where it elected Dr Rev. Solomon Zwana as the new Board Chairperson. The AGM also re-elected Ms Irene Petras the Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights as the Vice Chairperson, other organisations elected to be represented in the ZESN Board are;


1. Bulawayo Agenda,

2. Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust,

3. Combined Harare Resident Association,

4. Counselling Services Unit,

5. National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped,

6. Transparency International Zimbabwe,

7. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,

8. Zimbabwe Peace Project,

9. Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association and

10. Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe.


Dr Zwana takes over from Mr Tinoziva Bere who stepped down in July 2012 after four years of dedicated service to the organisation.


In his parting remarks outgoing chairperson Mr Bere said, "ZESN is a special organisation with a special purpose. The work is demanding and at times stressful but it is a fulfilling service, an honour. Thank you to the members, board, secretariat and partners for the support in the last 4 years. Please do support my successor, Dr. Zwana. To Dr. Zwana and your new Board, congratulations and all the best. €

Dr. Zwana is a seasoned human rights defender and an ordained Reverend and Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches.   Dr Zwana is also an academic who has worked at various levels in the Church as an administrator and Pastor. He also sits in various local and international boards.


The new ZESN leadership comes in at a time when Zimbabwe is faced with numerous socio-economic and political challenges and prospects that require perseverance, courage and strength in the fight for the democratisation of electoral and human rights processes in Zimbabwe. The country is currently in the process of crafting a new constitution, the referendum for which is expected before the end of the year. There are also vital Acts being deliberated in Parliament and these are the Electoral Amendment Act and the Human Rights Commission Act.


As ZESN continues to lobby and advocate for reforms in Zimbabwe before the holding of the next election it is confident the new Board will not only build on the successes of the out-going Board but also   breathe new ideas in the work of ZESN as the network continues to work towards a Zimbabwe where democratic processes are held. Ends//

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