Fair game please!

With almost all the political parties having launched their party manifesto as a prelude to fully-fledged election campaigns, it is essential that everyone plays by the rules.

Paul Bogaert
Paul Bogaert

The election season in Zimbabwe, since independence in 1980, has always being a tumultuous period. It has been characterised by violence, intimidation and even killings. This time, we would like a different environment.

A fair campaign means sticking to the rules that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has come up with. In this regard, all political parties seeking office at municipal, legislative and presidential levels should refrain from violence and hate speech, allow freedom of movement in constituencies and discourage the use of intimidation and violence to garner support. We expect them to respect fellow candidates, instead of using derogatory language or getting caught up in smear campaigns.

The media is also not exempt from playing by the rules. They should give equal access to all political parties; when Zanu (PF) gets an hour on national TV, the same should be given to MDC-T, MDC, Zapu and other parties. Broadcasters should also desist from using hate speech.

Then there is ZEC itself. It is the body at the centre of the elections. ZEC must demonstrate objectivity and impartiality. It has, in the past, been accused of favouring Zanu (PF), and for good reason, but that should end. The electoral body must ensure all registered voters cast their ballots, and clamp down on cheating. It should not be used by any parties as a rigging tool, as has happened in the past.

We want a free and fair game that will ensure a brighter future for our country.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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