A Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator says measures must be put in place to solve electoral disputes that may arise during this year’s elections.
Member of Parliament for Glen Norah, Wellington Chikombo, raised the issue during the recent Parliamentary session.
Chikombo highlighted that in the previous State of the Nation Address (SONA), president Mnangagwa was silent on how electoral disputes in future elections will be dealt with.
This year Zimbabwe will hold harmonised elections and there are concerns of electoral violence flaring up in the run-up to the polls.
In 2018, six civilians were fatally shot by State security agents in the August post-election violence.
“The election and democracy issue is a contentious issue in Zimbabwe. At times, you will find that there are contentions after elections. We know that elections are competitions where there should be a clear winner. The loser should concede defeat and congratulate the winner. You will find that what was presented by His Excellency during SONA did not address how future elections will deal with such issues,” Chikombo said.
Chikombo further noted that there are people who interfere with the operations of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) yet no action has been taken against them.
“Remember Hon. Speaker, when we were deliberating on issues, we also deliberated on the role of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) through Sections 39 and 61 of the Constitution. Looking at the issue, you will find that there are some who interfere with the operations of ZEC. What should be done?” he said.
“If we do not address this, then we will not have free and fair elections. What is His Excellency doing regarding this issue? At the moment, you will find that people do not know whether elections will be free and fair. So, it is important to note that His Excellency the President explains that elections are not war or antagonism – they should unite people.”