Zim to hold by-elections in March next year


Harare (New Ziana) – By-elections to fill vacant Parliamentary and local authority seats will be held in March next year, President Emerson Mnangagwa has said.
The government had shelved the holding of by-elections has part of broad measures to control the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
But now that the country is on course to attain herd immunity due to its highly successful Covid-19 vaccination programme and other containment measures, President Mnangagwa said he would soon proclaim dates for the by-elections.
As of last month, there were 28 National Assembly and 105 local authority vacancies across the country mostly occasioned by recalls by the MDC-T.
President Mnangagwa told a Zanu PF politburo meeting that the delayed holding of by-elections was strategic and that the decision had helped Zimbabwe better manage the Covid pandemic.
“There are those who are accusing us for not holding by-elections. We had to choose between exposing our people to Covid-19 and suspending by-elections.
“In the region we are one of the countries that has done well against the impact of Covid-19 but now with the lockdown at level 2, we have now opened, (so) we are going to have our elections in March. I will be making my proclamation very soon,” he said.
He rapped opposition parties and their western allies for making unreasonable demands for so called electoral reforms.
Opposition parties, instead of pushing their “reform” agenda through proper channels such as Parliament always demand for unclear reforms and have used this tactic as an excuse to mask the real reasons for their numerous electoral losses at the hands of the ruling Zanu PF party.
“This narrative that we need reforms, electoral reforms, and economic reforms is misplaced. No one has said what type of electoral reforms, which are required? In the SADC region we have embraced all the SADC electoral guidelines into our constitution.
“We have now gone 80 places in the index of Doing Business in terms of economic reforms, but you still have people just shouting electoral reforms yet they never spell out what type of electoral reform they are talking about. We (also) have one of the most democratic Constitutions in the region.”
He added; “As we prepare for the forthcoming by-elections, and the 2023 harmonised General Elections, greater focus must be on mobilising our membership to register as voters. The opposition must be voted out.”
President Mnangagwa said the ruling party was well positioned to romp to victory in the forthcoming by-elections and the 2023 general elections.
He said this was because of the development programmes that it was implementing across all sectors of the economy, in fulfilment of the 2018 People’s Election Manifesto.
“Delivering on the collective aspirations of the people of our great country remains the main focus of our activities. My Administration, therefore, is determined to ensure economic growth and empowerment which impacts all people across the country, as we lift millions into prosperity,” he said.
“The party continues to chart an irreversible course towards the realisation of the development aspirations we set for ourselves in the National Development Strategy 1.”
President Mnangagwa urged party cadres to remain united even in the face of internal elections.
The party is currently holding its internal elections in preparation for the elective congress set for next year.
“The Party’s internal elections are always processes that ensure the renewal, rejuvenation and growth of our colossal revolutionary party. I, therefore, urge contesting candidates to accept the outcomes of elections which are an expression of the majority view, whose results are binding to members,” he said.
“Elected leaders in our revolutionary party, across cells, branches, wards, districts and provinces are challenged to be equal to the task in the unfolding phase of our national, political and economic development. We must all demonstrate an unflinching commitment to serve the people, informed and guided by the revolutionary traditions and interests of the Party.
“In the spirit of Devolution and Decentralisation, I urge structures of the Party to strengthen their capacities to serve our people, learn from their views and to be in constant touch with the obtaining realities at grassroots levels. Our party, ZANU PF, remains deeply rooted in the values of peace, unity, love, harmony, respect, tolerance, and development. As such, every cadre must be principled, act lawfully, consistently and within the founding provisions of the Party Constitution. Those bent on using elections and other Party platforms and fora to advance their narrow and counter revolutionary agendas such as tribalism, regionalism and other divisive actions must be exposed. Such behavior will never be entertained in the Party.”
He commended provinces for mobilising and welcoming new supporters into the party.
“Going forward, provinces and districts, right down to the cells, must stand ready to receive more people into the Party, as we march towards our goal of mobilising over 5 million members by 2023. There is always enough room for more people to be accommodated within our mammoth mass Party,” he said.
New Ziana

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