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‘Current law gives ED too much power and scope for abuse’ – Chamisa

Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa believes that the current law gives the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa too much power and “scope for abuse” by designating him as the announcer of an election date.

Zimbabwe is set to hold harmonised general elections later this year. The Constitution states that only the President has the power to announce the election date.

Currently, the nation knows that elections will be held between July 26 and August 26 following a confirmation of the same by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi earlier this year.

Chamisa, however, believes that the law should be amended to provide clear and timely dates of election while limiting the incumbent’s power over proclamation of dates.

“WE MUST CHANGE THE LAW… Proclamation, Nomination and Polling dates have a bearing on planning by citizens, voters, business, investors and political parties’ internal processes.

“In Zimbabwe, the current law gives the incumbent ED too much power and scope for abuse. In other countries, the precise dates are known by all ahead of time,” he posted on his Twitter handle.

Mnangagwa this week said he would announce the date by the end of next month.

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Ziyambi said preparations for the holding of the plebiscite were at an advanced stage.

“The preparatory work for holding this year’s harmonised general election is at an advanced stage,” Ziyambi said.

“The next step that awaits the electorate is the announcement of the election date, through a proclamation by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa.

“It is anticipated that the elections will be held between July 26 and August 26.

“This is in line with Section 158 (1) of the Constitution, which provides that a general election must be held so that polling takes place not more than 30 days before the expiry of the five-year period upon swearing in of the President and/or Parliament.

“Consequently, this will result in the dissolution of Parliament at midnight on the day before the first polling day.”

Meanwhile, United Kingdom Ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson said she met Chamisa yesterday to discuss measures to ensure the election will be peaceful, credible and inclusive.

“Good to meet with CCC leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday. We discussed how important it is that the forthcoming elections are peaceful, credible and inclusive.

“The UK is committed to promoting and protecting democracy and human rights around the world,” she said.