The Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms (RACER) welcomes the proclamation of dates for by-elections which they say is consistent with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The by-elections in Zimbabwe were suspended from December 24 2021 to January 26 through the Statutory Instrument 225A of 2020 following the Covid19 outbreak.
Addressing a press at Media Centre Thursday, RACER Spokesperson Marvelous Kumalo announced the coalition’s position regards the proclamation.
“We are still concerned over the continued existence of Statutory Instrument 225A of 2020 which suspended holding of by-elections and call upon Parliament to repeal the Statutory Instrument,’’ said Kumalo
“We view the upcoming local government Election dates as a huge relief to residents across Zimbabwe who suffered from poor representation, deteriorating service delivery and impacted negatively on the practice of good democratic in local authorities,” said Kumalo.
Meanwhile, the Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms said they are preparing for a massive voter mobilization drive.
“The coalition and its members are in the process of putting in place mechanisms for a massive voter mobilization drive aimed at addressing voter apathy witnessed in past by-elections,” added Kumalo.
The Coalition also raised concern over registration centers which are inaccessible because of distance and failure by the Registrar’s department to issue National Identification documents that would permit citizens to register as voters.
“We note with concern the inaccessibility of voting registration centers in some parts of the country due to long distances involved which resulted in ZEC registering very few people.
RACER said electoral choices will depend on the service provided and representation and hence urges citizens to come in their numbers to choose their representatives.
“We affirm that electoral choices are inseparably connected with the quality of service provision and representation. We urge residents to turn up in their huge numbers to elect their representatives in the local government by-elections,” said Kumalo
“It is incumbent upon the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to fulfil its mandate in an independent and impartial manner as this is a panacea to free and fair elections. The credibility of the upcoming elections largely depends on the conduct of ZEC, state media and the security sector,” added Kumalo.
“We call upon political parties to exercise peace and political tolerance. All contesting parties must be afforded equal access to all electoral events and all candidates must be granted fair media access for campaigning and advertising purposes,” said Kumalo.