The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has commended voters for upholding peace and tranquility in the recently held local authorities by-elections.
In a preliminary report for the by-elections held in eight local authorities across the country, ZESN called for political literacy among citizens.
“ZESN commends the voters who took time out to cast their vote during these by-elections to elect their preferred local authority candidates. While the pre-electoral and polling day political environment was relatively peaceful in all the eight wards, the political tensions that flared up in ward 7 of Chitungwiza Municipality marred an otherwise peaceful election.
“There is a need for greater political literacy amongst citizens for them to make use of political and electoral rights afforded them by the Constitution. This would translate into improved turnout for local authority by-elections which in comparison with national assembly by-elections are regarded as less important,” said ZESN
The network implored political parties and their supporters to respect civil rights as enshrined in the country’s constitution.
“Political parties must continue to call on their supporters to engage those with divergent political interests peacefully as this will enhance the credibility of elections in Zimbabwe.
“There is a need for political party leaders and their supporters to respect the civil and political rights enshrined in the Constitution, in particular freedom of association.
“Political parties should ensure their agents arrive at their assigned polling stations on time and that they observe all polling processes so that they can authoritatively comment on the polling day processes,” said the network
The by-elections were held over the weekend in Chitungwiza Ward 7, Mutare Ward 14 and 16, Rusape Ward 5, Pfura Ward 40, Kariba Ward 3, 4 and 8 with opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) romping to victory in seven wards and the ruling Zanu PF taking one ward.