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Spike in politically-motivated violence cause for concern

05 Mar 2022 at 08:22hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is concerned over cases of politically-motivated violence recently reported in the media and is saddened by the resultant loss of life during a rally held in Kwekwe and extends its deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

The commission condemns and abhors in the strongest terms such acts of violence which have the effect of marring and negatively impacting the electoral environment in the build up to the by-elections set for March 26, 2022.

It is disheartening to note that such acts of violence are taking place notwithstanding the commission's plea at a recently held multi-party liaison meeting where political parties were advised to adhere to the political parties code of conduct set out in the fourth schedule of the Electoral Act and to which their candidates made an undertaking to comply with when they submitted their nomination papers

The commission would like to reiterate its calls for tolerance and urges political parties and candidates to adhere to the code of conduct.

Political parties and candidates are reminded of paragraph 11 of the code of conduct which calls upon them to:

lInstruct their members and supporters to comply with the code and any applicable electoral laws,

lIssue directives proscribing intimidation, violence and other illegal activities or offences and educating their members on the undesirability of the same;

lInitiate appropriate disciplinary action against their office-bearers, members, supporters and candidates who contravene the code and the laws of the land.

It is everybody's responsibility to promote an environment conducive to the holding of free and fair elections and a climate of tolerance in which electioneering activities may take place without fear or coercion, intimidation or reprisals.

Let us all foster and engender a spirit of goodwill where democratic discourse can take place amid a culture of tolerance. We all have an obligation to work towards the consolidation of peace in Zimbabwe.

In terms of the Electoral Act ,the Zimbabwe Republic Police is mandated to set up special police liaison officers in each province responsible for the expeditious investigation of cases of politically-motivated violence. The commission urges those who are victims of electoral and politically-motivated violence to report such cases to the police and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for investigation and redress .

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe
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