ERC urges political parties to respect Zimbabwe Defense Forces constitutionally mandated neutrality 

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) is concerned with Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Josiah Hungwe's statement that ZANU PF will work with the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) to campaign ahead of the 2018 general elections.

TellZim, a Masvingo based newspaper, reported that Minister Hungwe expressed at the ZANU PF Masvingo Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting recently, that ZANU-PF jointly campaign with the ZDF.

ERC would like to urge political parties and ZDF to respect and observe the neutrality of ZDF as is mandated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Section 208 (2) (a) and (b) states that “neither the security services nor any of their members may, in the exercise of the functions (a) “act in a partisan manner” (b) “ further the interests of any political party or cause”.

Ahead of the 2018 elections, it is important to ensure principles of transparency, freedom of speech and impartiality are maintained. In addition, as a signatory to the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, ERC urges the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that a peaceful environment is maintained that would enable citizens of Zimbabwe to exercise their constitutional right to vote without fear or intimidation.

ERC urges:

·         The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to ensure political observe neutrality and promote free, fair and credible elections;

·         The Zimbabwe Defense Forces to maintain non-partisan role during the electoral processes.

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