Police warn would-be election troublemakers


Harare (New Ziana) – Police warned on Tuesday they will deal harshly with unruly behaviour during and after this week’s general elections.

The country goes to the polls on Wednesday to election a new president, and parliamentary and local government representatives.

In a statement on the eve of the elections, police commissioner general, Godwin Matanga warned political parties and civic organizations against inciting the public.

Social media has been awash with calls by some political parties and civic organizations for people to gather at polling stations after casting their vote in what they are calling ‘defend your vote through REP (register, elect and protect).’

“The public should note that the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 is not the only piece of legislation that regulates public gatherings,” Matanga said.

“We also have the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act 11:23 which clearly stipulates that among other public gatherings, all politically inclined gatherings must be duly notified and subsequently sanctioned by the relevant regulating authority,” he said.

In this regard, Matanga said any gatherings at polling stations, collation, constituency, provincial and national command centres will unlawful.

He said police will deal with any such illegal gatherings outside polling stations by invoking necessary security measures to maintain peace and order without fear or favor.

Matanga also gave a stern warning to those that are planning to announce election results through statistics availed by some party polling party agents, saying only the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was authorised to do so.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is also aware that some civic organizations claim that they have put measures in place to announce the results on the 24th of August 2023 through statistics availed by some party polling agents.

In terms of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13, it is ZEC only who has the legal mandate to announce election results in the country. Therefore, any deviation from the legal provisions shall be dealt with according to the country’s laws,” he said.

He said appropriate levels of police officers had been deployed at all polling stations to ensure that effective law and order is maintained during the voting process and thereafter.

He encouraged voters to peacefully cast their votes and return home or engage in any socio-economic activities away from the vicinity of polling stations.

New Ziana

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