ZESN Observing the Mutasa Rural District Council Ward 10 Local Authority By-election

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) will be observing the Mutasa Rural District Council (RDC) Ward 10 and Kadoma Local Authority by-election set for 11 May 2019.

The Mutasa RDC Ward 10 seat fell vacant following the conviction of Frank Chitembwe of the MDC Alliance who had won the seat in the 2018 harmonised elections. Chitembwe was charged with public violence. He was later granted bail pending appeal after he had been sentenced to a two-year jail term. The Nomination Court had already sat when Chitembwe was granted bail and his attempts to stop the by-election by filing an urgent application failed. His application was opposed by Mutasa RDC Chief Executive Officer and dismissed the Mutare High Court.

The Nomination Court therefore sat on 2 April 2019 and three candidates: Margaret Tindirika of ZANU-PF; Rose Tanyaradzwa Mukodza of the MDC Alliance; and Justin Tanyaradzwa Chirimo of National Constitutional Assembly will contest in the by-election.

ZESN has since deployed a Long Term Observer in the Ward and will be deploying trained static 7 Short Term Observers to specifically focus on Election Day processes at all polling stations and the ward collation centre in the by-election. In addition, ZESN will deploy 1 team of mobile observers. The Network urges citizens in Mutasa RDC Ward 10 to go out and exercise their right and vote in peace.

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)