Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy secretary for elections Ellen Shiriyedenga, has characterized President Emmerson Mnagangwa’s plea for political players to embrace peace disingenuous.
Zimbabwe holds harmonised elections every five years. However, the elections have been characterised by violence and intimidation.
Opposition members are mostly at the receiving end of politically motivated violence but majority of perpetrators have not been apprehended.
According to the October 2022 report produced by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), opposition members and leaders were victims of violence during the run up to by-elections held in the same month.
ZPP maintains that the assaults render the outcome unfair.
At the tail end of his State Of the Nation Address (SONA) held at the new parliament building last Wednesday, Mnangagwa urged politicians to uphold peace in the run up to the 2023 elections.
However, Shiriyedenga dismissed the plea as indigenous.
In an interview with Open Parly, Shiriyedenga questioned the sincerity of Mnangagwa’s plea to peace, maintaining that his party was at the forefront of unleashing violence.
“Ironically it is the same ZANUPF, in the second republic that invoked the party’s violence toolkit against the opposition during the recent by-elections.
“If these utterances were sincere, then the same second republic would have by now facilitated the codification of these sentiments into the electoral laws as demanded by the electoral stakeholders.
Code Of Conduct Ineffective
As a mechanism to deter violence, political parties are compelled by the Electoral Act to abide by the rules of the code of conduct. However, election stakeholders suggest that a law against violence will go a long in dealing with the vice.
Action to that effect is yet to be taken.
CCC was launched earlier this year ahead of the largest by-election ever held in the country.
During the run up to the by election and other by-elections thereafter the party supporters and leaders have been exposed to violence with some losing their lives.