Zec Partially Lifts Ban on Electoral Activities, By-election Remains Suspended

By Lloyd Takawira

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced that it has partially lifted the ban on electoral activities following the relaxation of the lockdown measures by the government at the beginning of the month .

In a statement to the media , the electoral body said that following the relaxation of the lockdown measures of statutory instrument 10 of 2021 on 01 March 2021 , the Commission will lift the suspension of voter registration and some electoral field work it had announced .

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission wishes to announce that following the relaxation of the lockdown measures of statutory instrument 10 of 2021 on 01 March 2021 , the commission will lift the suspension on voter registration and some field work it had announced on January 08 2021 . The resumption of electoral activities will commence on the 1st of April 2021 ” the commission said.

However , the commission announced that ban on by-elections have not been lifted arguing that if such measures are taken the commission will inform the public.

The statement said , “in view of the danger still posed by the covid-19 pandemic , and the need to uphold some health provisions of statutory instrument 10 of 2020 , which is still in force the conduct of by-elections is still suspended remains suspended…”

Conduction of elections was suspended in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic early this year.

The elections body said that those eligible to vote should visit ZEC district offices to register.

“The commission is advising all citizens who qualify to register as voters and those wishing to transfer registration to visit voter registration centers at ZEC provincial and district offices” the statement said .

Over 80 vacancies in parliament and councils have arisen after MDC-T recalled opposition MDC Alliance councilors and members of parliament .

Last week , the MDC Alliance contingent of members of parliament was recalled by a faction of the PDP plunging the parliament of Zimbabwe into a circus .

Observers have however questioned the motive behind banning by-elections in Zimbabwe when other countries in the are going ahead with elections .

However the ruling Zanu PF party which is accused of instigating the ban on by-elections has mantained that it doesn’t fear loosing any seat to the opposition MDC Alliance party led by Mr Nelson Chamisa .