Home2023 ElectionsCSOs sound alarm over Zim 2023 elections

CSOs sound alarm over Zim 2023 elections

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BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has sounded alarm bells to regional bodies over possible violence as Zimbabwe heads for the 2023 general elections.

Speaking to Newzroom Africa on Sunday, CiZC spokesperson Peter Mutasa said: “We are going to have body bags if Sadc [Southern African Development Community] does not initiate mediation processes.”

Zimbabwe’s past elections have often been marred by violence. In August 2018, six civilians were gunned down by soldiers in post-electoral violence.

During the March 26 by-elections, opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist Mboneni Ncube was killed in Kwekwe by Zanu PF supporters who disrupted the opposition party’s campaign rally.

Mutasa said already, there was undeniable evidence that political violence had heightened ahead of next year’s elections.

“All institutions and processes that are supposed to guarantee democracy have been weakened, and have been captured by the State and we are left on our own. This is why we are raising this early warning call to the African Union (AU), Sadc and the United Nations saying we need early prevention of this conflict. We need preventative diplomacy,” Mutasa pleaded.

“If we protest … we are killed in broad daylight: In 2019 (fuel price hike protests), the military shot people who were protesting. We need a Sadc or AU-guaranteed process of mediation so that we plan a road map to the 2023 elections. We are seeing that there will be heightened political violence. If the region does not do anything, we are going to be having body bags.”

While addressing mourners at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa denounced electoral violence saying: “Violence must never be allowed in political interactions.”

Meanwhile, in a statement on Sunday, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) urged the regional bodies to push government to implement the required electoral reforms and to domesticate AU charters that have a bearing on elections such as the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which has been ratified.

“The Charter obliges State parties to promote democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the integrity and independence of democratic institutions. Importantly, article 12 of the charter states that state parties undertake to promote democratic principles by facilitating transparent, and accountable administration and creating conducive conditions for civil society organisations to exist and operate within the law,” ZLHR said.

  • Follow Priveledge on Twitter @ PTGumboz

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