#ElectionsZW: There was a selective application of regulations says ZESN

#ElectionsZW: There was selective application of regulations says ZESN
#ElectionsZW: There was selective application of regulations says ZESN

#ElectionsZW: There was a selective application of regulations says ZESN

Election watchdog ZESN, says there is evidence that there was a selective application of restrictions against the opposition by the police during the by-elections campaign period.

Political parties were campaigning for the by-elections that will be held on the 26th of March.

The by-elections are for filling vacant seats in the National Assembly as well as local authority seats across the country.

About 28 National Assembly seats and 118 local authority seats are up for grabs.

The prospects of winning the seats saw such political parties as Zanu PF, MDC Alliance, Citizens Coalition for Change, and LEAD taking the opportunity to hold rallies.

However, ZESN says in authorising the campaign rallies, the police favoured Zanu PF at the expense of the opposition.

CCC had its rallies in Gokwe, and Marondera being blocked by the police, while several others had to take the hand of the courts to authorise them.

In its constituencies profile report, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network which deployed its observers to monitor the situation indicated that there was evidence of selective application of the laws.

‘’Reports received from ZESN observers indicate that in many constituencies, campaigns by prospective candidates interested in contesting in the by-elections started well before the proclamation and nomination processes.

‘’During the campaign, there was evidence of the selective application of COVID-19 restrictions and the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA) to benefit the incumbent and disadvantage the opposition,’’ the report read.

Is the electoral environment even?

Opposition parties in the country have often complained about an uneven playing field since 1999 when the main opposition MDC was formed.

Just recently, Norton legislator Temba Mliswa indicated that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which is charged with organising, managing, and supervising elections in the country is not independent.

According to Mliswa, if ZEC is still reporting to the government of the day, then it cannot be independent.

He however blamed the Electoral Act for not giving ZEC enough powers to effectively manage elections.

ZEC on its part is on record arguing that its powers are purely administrative. It says it has no power to do any other thing. Priscilla Chigumba, the ZEC chairperson said those that need reforms should engage Parliament.

#ElectionsZW: There was a selective application of regulations says ZESN

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