Harare (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has appealed for responsible political and media behaviour in light of the divisive nature of elections in the country as it edges towards the 2023 polls.
Zec deputy chair Rodney Kiwa said the divisiveness associated with Zimbabwean elections was a cause for concern.
“As we are all aware, elections have become a divisive rather than a unifying factor in this country. So I urge you all to talk, behave or report responsibly taking into account that we have a country to build for future generations,” he told a media engagement.
“Let us all leave a legacy that will be admired by our children through positive engagement, tolerance and responsible leadership.”
For example, over the years, the divisiveness has been spawned by a coordinated smear campaign against Zec through criticism of its processes by opposition political parties, the private media and Western sponsored non-governmental organisations.
Although never proven, accusations ranging from voters’ roll manipulation to outright rigging are always made, making every election seasons a tense affair.
Zec believes that such allegations have led to voter apathy, and were being used as a scapegoat by losing political parties who deliberately attribute their electoral defeat to alleged vote rigging by Zec.
This is despite that Zec, intent on engendering confidence in electoral processes and outcomes, always opens itself to stakeholder and public scrutiny, through various strategies including stakeholder consultations with civil society, political parties, and the media.