The country’s political environment is not permissible for the country to have free and fair elections, political analysts have said.
It has been a year since the harmonised elections were conducted which ushered in the Emmerson Mnangagwa led government.
The main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) contested the election results arguing that Mnangagwa had manipulated the election results in the favour.
However, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the ruling party, Zanu PF.
In an interview with CITE, political analyst Effie Ncube said there were many stumbling blocks to the country holding free and fair elections in 2023.
“The political environment should be open for all contestants, there should be no restrictions for some contestants as compared to others,” said Ncube.
He said the ruling party should level the playing field and desist from abusing state resources.
“ZANU-PF should not use government resources to fund its campaigns during elections. That is what used to happen during the Mugabe regime and it is very disturbing that it is still happening,” said Ncube.
Recently, the Health Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo came under fire for ordering the state owned National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm) to distribute medicines to Lupane East clinics at the request by Zanu PF who are contensting in a by-election set for August.
Ncube added that there were a number of issues that have to be fixed in preparation for the next elections.
“There are a number of things that have to be first looked into for instance the constitutional framework, the legislative framework, the general and the economic environment in the country,” said Ncube.
He said there is a need to amend the electoral framework which is used in the country to international standards that will provide free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has to be reformed so that those who run elections in different provinces conduct them free and fairly,” said the analyst.
“The staff at ZEC is mostly comprised of people who have a military background. This staff is partisan and supports the ruling party.
“These people should be gotten rid of and different personnel who are impartial should comprise of ZEC as they will be objective.”
The electoral body recently got into the cross hairs of opposition political parties after Utoile Silaigwana was appointed Chief Elections Officer.
Chief Executive Officer of Mazibisa lnc, Nkosana Mazibisa said it is important for young people to be involved in civic issues in preparation for elections.
“We need young people to be involved in budget formulations, council affairs, dialogues before elections,” said Mazibisa.
He said electoral dialogues should not happen three months before elections as it overwhelms the youths.
Mazibisa also said young people should forego instant gratification from other people but to have a vision of what they want for the 2023 elections.