By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has resumed electoral activities following the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown by the government but the conduct of by-elections remain suspended in what appears an attempt to protect the smaller opposition MDC-T party.
This was confirmed on Tuesday in a statement by ZEC chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana who said the resumption of these suspended activities will come into effect on April 1 but by-elections remain suspended.
“ZEC, would like to announce that following the relaxation of lockdown measures of Statutory Instrument 10 of 2021 on 1 March, the commission will lift the suspension of voter registration and some field work it announced on 8 January. The resumption of these suspended activities will come into effect on 1 April.
“However, in view of the danger still posed by the pandemic and the need to uphold some health provisions of Statutory Instrument 10 of 21 which are still in force, the conduct of by-elections remains suspended,” he said.
In an interview with Nehanda Radio, MDC Alliance deputy national spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo said his party was ready for by-elections and electoral reforms were needed.
“Zanu PF uses force and abuse of state institutions. That’s why it lost the 2018 elections and only tried to force themselves by illegally recalling democratically elected people’s representatives in councils and parliament.
“MDC Alliance has presented minimum conditions for the holding of credible elections in Zimbabwe in our document called PRICE- Principles for Credible Elections.
“There is a need for serious electoral, political and economic reforms in Zimbabwe. Zanu PF does not like that because it enjoys the suffering of the ordinary people.
“MDC Alliance is ready for any election at any time as long as the process is fair, free, peaceful and the security of the voters and vote is guaranteed.
“Zanu PF knows that it is an illegitimate regime occupying the positions of authority. Hence it employs diabolic means to stay in power that’s why it is arbitrarily arresting and illegally detaining any voice of reason.
“It is at war with almost everyone in Zimbabwe, the region and international community. The illegal recalls have impacted negatively on service delivery in local authorities and cripple the parliamentary oversight role. That’s what they wanted to happen,” he said.
MDC Alliance has already lost more than half of its parliamentarians after they were recalled by the MDC-T party led by Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe despite the fact that they contested in 2018 elections on the MDC Alliance ticket and the other party contested as MDC-T. Nehanda Radio