Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Govt bans this year’s by-elections but rallies and DCC elections continue

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro

The Zanu PF administration has allowed internal party elections, rallies and anti-sanctions marches to take place but hypocritically and controversially banned this year’s by-elections.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Chief Justice Luke Malaba
Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Chief Justice Luke Malaba

Addressing Zanu PF supporters during a Mashonaland West provincial coordinating committee meeting in Chinhoyi on Sunday, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the by-elections initially scheduled for December 5 were postponed to next year because of the Covid-19 threat.

“We cannot have by-elections this year because we are still faced with the coronavirus pandemic, so President Emmerson Mnangagwa said let’s defer by-elections.

“We are simply deferring. We are not saying they will not be there, we said let’s defer, and use the resources that we have to fight the pandemic and save lives.

“So we cannot risk the lives of our people and go to a by-election when we have an opportunity to do it after and save the lives of our people. Besides, resources are currently being channelled towards the fight against Covid-19,” Ziyambi said.

Recently, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network said the decision to suspend by-elections quarantines democracy.

Observers have since argued the ruling party banned by-elections to make sure that the main opposition MDC Alliance does not recover recalled seats in the National Assembly and Council.

MDC-T acting president Thokozani Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora have already recalled more than 35 MDC Alliance MPs, senators and councillors using a March Supreme Court ruling that declared Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the main opposition illegitimate.

Recalled MDC Alliance members were accused of supporting Chamisa. Nehanda Radio