Victoria Falls (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday said he was satisfied with preparations being made for the March 26 by-elections, and 2023 general elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which has stepped up its preparations for the two important polls, is currently conducting a two-phased nationwide biometric voter registration blitz to register new voters ahead of the 2023 polls.
This is on top of the continuous voter registration programme carried out throughout the year.
On the other hand, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency is finalising preparations for a national population census in April, this year.
Both the census, which is being held a year earlier, and the voter registration blitz will guide the creation of new constituency boundaries for the 2023 election.
In light of these preparations, President Mnangagwa told his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi that Zimbabwe stood ready to help advance the SADC culture of democracy, constitutionalism, and good governance.
“Zimbabwe will be holding by-elections on 26 March 2022 to fill vacancies within the National Assembly and Local Authorities. The by-elections could not be held earlier, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Preparations for Zimbabwe’s scheduled 2023 Harmonised General Elections are also progressing well,” he said during the opening of the Heads of State meeting at the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission here.
“As we maintain this sacred democratic culture of our region, it remains critical that we create and expand the space for our young people to make meaningful contributions towards the socio-economic and political architecture of our respective countries. The youth of our countries are, after all, our future and our hope.”
On Thursday, President Masisi expressed confidence that Zanu PF would romp to victory in both elections, setting the stage for expanded cooperation between the ruling parties of the two countries.
He said his ruling party, BDP was looking forward to continuing working Zanu PF party for the foreseeable future, mainly because of its people-centered socio-economic development policies and championing of regional interests.
This was also in part because the BDP, like Zanu PF, was a liberation movement; hence it was more inclined to deal with like-minded parties.
“Let me end by wishing you the best of success in your upcoming by-elections and the general elections for we are unashamed to want to deal with people who are serious,” Masisi said on Thursday at a welcome reception hosted in his honour.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa commended President Masisi for ably steering the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security in 2020, and pledged Zimbabwe’s commitment to ensuring the preservation of democracy and constitutionalism.
“It was during your tenure that our august organisation resolved to deploy the SADC Mission in Mozambique towards the fight against terrorist insurgency in (Mozambique’s) Cabo Delgado Province and the overall preservation of the peace and security of our region,” he said.
“Allow me to sincerely thank you, Your Excellency and the Government of Botswana for the support extended to Zimbabwe that saw our election into the African Union Peace and Security Council during the recent 35th Ordinary AU Summit. Rest assured that my country will leverage its membership in this strategic continental institution to advance the principles of democracy, constitutionalism, and good governance, as enshrined in both the SADC Treaty and African Union Charter.”