Human rights advocacy group, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has called on Parliament to institute a pre-electoral dialogue which will deal with electoral misconducts ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.
In its monthly report for May, ZPP said the patterns of intimidation, harassment, abductions, and assaults implicating the ruling party continued unabated.
“The organization recorded cases where Zanu PF abused its influence in government to manipulate national processes like the voter registration blitz, the mobile national documentation outreach, and aid distribution. Parliament should institute a pre-electoral dialogue that leads to a pact, where all electoral malpractices are dealt with well in time before elections.
“This is based on the precedence set when Zanu PF and MDC-T worked on operationalizing SADC guidelines on elections in 2007 and this led to one of Zimbabwe’s most open elections in March 2008. Regrettably, the country regressed soon after the elections and considering the current events, there is need to revisit that commitment by both political parties to ensure that Zimbabwe does not have a repeat of the 2008 electoral violence,” ZPP said
The report called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) through its Multi-Party Liaison Committee, to hold political parties to account.
“Never again should Zimbabweans be subjected to killings, torture, assault, harassment and displacement for political reasons and the onus is on the current elected representatives to make sure this does not happen and ZPP continues to appeal to each of their consciences. One more time, ZPP strongly recommends that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), through its Multi-Party Liaison Committee, strengthens its ability to hold political parties to account without fear or favour.
“ZPP also urges SADC to use its mandate to proactively prevent the recurrence of political repression. Through its relevant arms, the regional body should engage the Zimbabwean authorities and political parties to get a guarantee that the 2023 elections are going to be free, fair and peaceful and that they will allow the free expression of every Zimbabwean,” read the report.
Political activity heightened since the March 26 by-elections with major political parties Zanu PF and Citizens Coalition for Change in full swing preparing for the 2023 general elections.