The Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes with grave concern the politically motivated violence targeting Citizen Coalition for Change supporters in Kwekwe on Sunday 27 February 2022. Acts of political violence are unacceptable in Zimbabwe’s democracy, and ERC calls on all political parties, state institutions and electoral stakeholders to desist from the practice. Further ERC calls on the constitutional bodies responsible for justice to investigate and prosecute the instigators of violence.
The ERC reminds political parties and their supporters that democracy is about multi parties and divergent views and to that end calls on all political parties to respect the democratic principles set out in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
While ERC applauds the Zimbabwe Republic Police for acting swiftly in arresting the accused persons, the ongoing unresponsiveness of institutions meant to promote peace and a free and fair electoral environment will lead to a lack of confidence in the functionality of those systems. At a time when electoral credibility is waning, there must be deliberate efforts to fix the damage done to the legitimacy of our democratic institutions. Trust in institutions is a critical part of systemic peace and credible elections.
- The ERC calls upon the ZRP, the National Reconciliation and Peace Commission (NRPC), the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) whose constitutional mandate is to support human rights, democracy, to promote constitutionalism, peaceful co-existence to swiftly move in to exert their mandates without fear or favour to investigate the violence meted out in Kwekwe in order to avert a degeneration of violence.
- The ERC calls on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to proactively act in terms of their constitutional functions to ensure free and fair elections. The ongoing unresponsiveness of the Commission to address politically motivated violence casts into doubt the freeness and fairness of the impending by-elections and will contribute to the already increasing citizen apathy ahead of the polls.
Source: Election Resource Centre