Electoral watchdog urges ZEC to act against violence

The Election Resource Centre (ERC), an independent election watchdog and think tank, has condemned politically motivated violence and intimidation in Hurungwe West ahead of the June 10 by-elections.

Temba Mliswa
Temba Mliswa

Keith Guzha of Zanu (PF) will lock horns with former ruling party provincial chairman, Temba Mliswa, who will contest as an independent after his expulsion.

Guzha, according to Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) has roped soldiers into his campaign and is intimidating voters in the rural constituency.

Mliswa has reported a number of incidents where some traditional leaders who are sympathetic to him have allegedly been attacked and in some instances abducted by ZANU PF militia.

“The Election Resource Centre (ERC), condemns in the strongest possible terms, the surging politically motivated violence and intimidation against opposition supporters in Hurungwe West constituency ahead of the June 10 2015 parliamentary by-elections,” said ERC in a statement.

“We are grossly disappointed by such electoral malpractice and most importantly we remain disturbed by the silence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the police and the Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs who is also the Vice President of the country, Hon Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“Their reluctance to act and ensure that the environment is conducive for the holding of free and fair elections is quite disturbing and has huge negative impact on not only the outcome of these elections but also on the participation of citizens in electoral processes. The failure to act also suggests collusion with the perpetrators and gives credence to arguments that ZEC is not politically independent,” added ERC.

The centre urged ZEC to take action against the perpetrators of political violence and disqualify them from participating in the by-election in line with Section 156 (c) (i) of the Zimbabwe Constitution.

The law stipulates that ZEC must ensure that appropriate systems and mechanisms are put in place to eliminate electoral violence malpractices.

ERC said ZEC must investigate and condemn the violence and intimidation, while government must adequately fund the commission.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *