Political actors urged to ensure free and fair elections this year

A LOCAL peace lobby group, Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation (CCMT), has called on the country’s political actors to ensure free and fair elections this year.

BY KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA

CCMT director, Wonder Phiri, yesterday made the call while addressing stakeholders at a media briefing in Harare on the need to ensure citizens were given an opportunity to freely express themselves in the ballot box without fear of retribution.

“If anything, we can read there, there is a renewed interest in elections, moving away from voter apathy, to us it is something positive and what is needed in most cases, like in our country, is that as long as there is political will among the leadership to call whether for investment for peaceful elections against gender based violence, we think that it will be able to see us through,” he said.

“We have not done any analysis at the moment to say is the environment free and fair, are the communities ready for elections, but I don’t know if anything is to go by if we talk about more than 5 million people having been registered to vote for the first time after independence.”

Phiri added: “We are really saying if at the highest office in the government are saying we want these elections to be transparent and some of you have picked out the issue of the Sadc and EU observers and this comes as a total departure from the previous electoral cycle we had.”

This came as opposition parties have scaled up their campaign for electoral reforms to level the political playing field ahead of the polls expected in July this year.

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