The latest publication by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition gives an overview of the pre-electoral and post-electoral March 26 by-lections environment. Read on to get informed.
On Saturday 26 March, 2022, Zimbabwe held the much anticipated and contested by-elections, coming on the backdrop of a long COVID-19 induced hiatus in electoral activity. The elections came barely 12 months before the 2023 harmonized elections. In these by-elections, 28 parliamentary constituencies and 105 local government council seats were contested following recalls of Members of Parliament (MPs) and Councillors from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, and deaths of some of them.
Whilst the elections represented 13.3% of parliamentary seats and 5.4% of local government seats in Zimbabwe, they presented an opportunity through practice, in making our elections better through successive, recurrent conduct. In the same vein, they also presented an opportunity to test the credibility of our electoral processes through mere assessment based on universally accepted benchmarks. This report focuses on the credibility of elections as assessed against benchmarks set in key regional statutes, namely the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as well as the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. In its analysis, the report focuses on the value and role of elections in democracy and development and makes a measured assessment of the environment under which elections are held in Zimbabwe.
The key question asked is: did the pre-electoral environment and what transpired on Election Day qualify these elections as free, fair and credible? Did these elections give the ordinary voter the power to genuinely influence the country’s governance processes? Was the Election Management Body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) up to its task as measured by the Constitution of Zimbabwe? Are state institutions, like the police, courts and the media impartial? What is the status and role of women, and their space in this election? In the final analysis, an easy verdict is passed on the credibility of the by-elections.
Read the full publication here (23MB PDF)
Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition