Residents associations from across the country have demanded robust measures to avoid contested 2023 election results.
In a communique released after their virtual meeting held on the 24th of November 2022, 42 residents groups under the banner of Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms (RACER) urged the government to create a conducive environment for a free, fair and credible elections.
“The law enforcement agencies in particular the Zimbabwe Republic Police should be impartial and be guided by Section 208(2) of the Constitution when dealing with cases of political violence during elections.
“The emergence of political violence, heightened political intolerance and increase of hate speech during by-elections and ahead of the 2023 is a major concern among citizens, as this seriously impacts on candidates participating in electoral processes both as voters and contesting candidates for public office in the 2023 elections,”
RACER also raised concern over civil servants openly campaigning for political candidates ahead of the 2023 elections saying their conduct violates the constitution which demands to act in a non-partisan manner.
“Political parties should recall the principles of administrative justice and judicial review, rule of law and constitutionalism, representative democracy and respect for the people of Zimbabwe from whom the authority to govern is derived among others,” said RACER.
In a press statement on Tuesday, the grouping also called on independent commissions, law enforcement agents and other key institutions to embrace constitutionalism to ensure the next elections are not disputed.
“Embracing of a constitutional culture (constitutionalism) by Independent Commissions, law enforcement agencies, local government sector and other key institutions involved in conducting elections in Zimbabwe,” RACER added.
Zimbabwe is due to hold the next harmonized elections in less than nine months. Opposition parties and civil society groups have been complaining of escalating cases of political violence which they said has already cast doubt on the credibility of the polls.