Teach supporters patience: Zesn

In a report after the elections, Zesn commended authorities, adding that the political environment was calm and peaceful.

POLITICAL parties should urge their supporters to exercise patience while they wait for the conclusion of counting, collation, verification and announcement of election results, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) has said.

Zimbabwe held by-elections on Saturday last week following the death of Kusile RDC ward 13 councillor Tarcissius Qonda of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and Redcliff Municipality mayor and ward 3 councillor Alderman Clayton Masiyatsva (CCC).

The country has been in election mode since last year when it held its general election with several by-elections being held after self-imposed interim CCC secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu purged several legislators from Parliament.

In a report after the elections, Zesn commended authorities, adding that the political environment was calm and peaceful.

“Zesn observers reported that the political environment was calm and peaceful in both wards, with the exception of heightened tensions at collation centre for Redcliff ward 3, where large numbers of people gathered waiting for the official results to be announced,” Zesn said in a statement.

Zanu PF candidates, Christina Sigauke and Donald Chewareerwa were declared winners in Redcliff Municipality ward 3 and Kusile RDC ward 13, respectively.

“A total of 647 persons turned out to vote in Kusile RDC ward 13, translating to 28,3% voter turnout. Voter turnout in Redcliff Municipality ward 3 was significantly higher at 47,3%, after 1 431 people turned out to vote,” Zesn said.

“More needs to be done by political parties to encourage the electorate to ensure improved voter turnout in local authority by-elections and the enjoyment of political and electoral rights afforded them by Section 67 of the Constitution.”

Zesn said there was need for voter education with regards to the importance of local governance and local authority by-elections.

“Additional voter education is imperative regarding local authority elections, given their critical role in shaping local governance.

“Local authority elections directly influence citizens’ daily lives by addressing essential aspects such as sanitation, public safety, health, infrastructure and future developmental trajectories,” the election watchdog said.

Zimbabwe will hold National Assembly by-elections later this month to fill the vacant Mount Pleasant and Harare East seats following the resignation of former CCC MPs Fadzayi Mahere and Allan Markham from the National Assembly after their leader Nelson Chamisa dumped the opposition party on the grounds of infiltration.

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