BY BRENNA MATENDERE
THE newly formed Midlands political outfit, Zimbabwe Socio Economic Democrats (ZSED) party has called for the disbandment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) before the crunch 2023 elections in order to preserve the credibility of the polls.
Speaking during the official launch of the party in Gweru last week, party leader Nkosikhona Ndlovu said Zec has a ‘flawed past’ and must be disbanded.
Ndlovu told party supporters gathered at Mtapa Hall that even the March 26 by-elections should have been presided over by a new Zec outfit.
“We really feel that Zec has to be disbanded because they are not apologetic for being partisan, and their decision to stuff the commission with former military personnel,” Ndlovu said.
“It clearly shows that the institution is captured and it is not independent. This is confirmed by the recent interview that Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba had on radio where she was clearly arrogant while explaining why there were few people registered as new voters as of December 2021,” he said.
During the interview, Chigumba also made it clear that there was nothing illegal about Zec employing former military personnel as its staff as they also have rights to employment like every Zimbabwean.
She said Zec will continue to enrol former military personnel ‘as long as they have the qualifications’.
Ndlovu said there is need for new Zec personnel to instil confidence in the electoral body by voters.
“If people do not have faith and trust in Zec, they may as well say what’s the point in voting when our will be stolen. That would then lead to fundamental voter apathy. That defeats the course of democracy that we all yearn for,” Ndlovu said.
The official launch of the party was however disrupted by the police who rounded up its leadership mid-way, accusing them of having gathered people in excess of the stipulated 100 as prescribed by COVID-19 regulations for gatherings.
Ironically during the weekend, the ruling Zanu PF party held a rally in Chitungwiza which was attended by several hundreds of party supporters.
The ZSED party leaders were later released without charges.