Zec reminds parties to discipline violent members
Harare (New Ziana) – Political parties should stringently enforce Electoral Act provisions, including through instituting disciplinary action against party members who perpetrate or promote violence, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has said.
This follows violent clashes at a rally of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party in Kwekwe at the weekend which left one dead and scores injured and cars damaged.
The clashes started after a section of CCC members attacked fellow rally attendees whom they accused of being Zanu PF infiltrators.
According to videos of the rally, when clashes broke out, a CCC senior official could be heard encouraging rally attendees to attack the alleged infiltrators.
But, condemning the attacks, Zec chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said: “Political parties and candidates are especially reminded of paragraph 11 of the Code of Conduct which calls upon them to; Initiate appropriate disciplinary action against their office-bearers, members, supporters and candidates who contravene the Code and the laws of the land.”
The code also encourages political parties to issue directives proscribing intimidation, violence and other illegal activities or offences and educating their members on the undesirability of the same.
Chigumba said such abhorrent behaviour had the effect of marring and negatively impacting the electoral environment.
“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.”
Chigumba encouraged victims of electoral and politically motivated violence to report such cases to the Police and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission for investigation and redress.
“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,” she said.