(Last Updated on March 23, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has announced the resumption of some electoral activities although by-elections remain suspended following the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions earlier this month.
ZEC Chief Elections Officer Utolile Silaigwana said the resumption of certain activities will take effect on the 1st of April 2021.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) would like to announce that following the relaxation of lockdown measures of Statutory Instrument 10 of 2021 on 01 March 2021, the Commission will lift the suspension of voter registration and some fieldwork it announced on 08 January 2021. The resumption of those suspended activities will come into effect on 01 April 2021.
“However, in view of the danger still posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to uphold some health provision of the Statutory Instrument 10 0f 2021 which are still in force, the conduct of by-elections remains suspended. This position will be reviewed in due course and stakeholders will be advised accordingly,” said Silaigwana in a statement.
“The Commission is advising all citizens who qualify to register as voters and those wishing to transfer their registrations to visit voter registration centres at ZEC provincial and district centres. Everyone involved in those electoral activities should strictly observe the Ministry of Health Covid-19 health measures and the Commission’s Covid-19 Policy on Electoral Activities,” he added.
Last year following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the electoral body suspended the electoral activities to help curb the spread of the virus.
Subsequently, Vice President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga then ordered the suspension of by-elections due to the same reasons.
Opposition parties have accused the ZANU-PF led government of using the Covid-19 pandemic to close the democratic space.
This follows the massive recall of MDC Alliance legislators which are still yet to be replaced due to the suspension of the by-elections.