ZEC Says Elections Will Go Ahead As Scheduled
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says the harmonised elections scheduled for July this year will go ahead as planned despite a court challenge by MDC leader Douglas Mwonzora.
Senator Mwonzora filed his application at the High Court last week in a bid to have the polls postponed because of controversy over the delimitation exercise.
ZEC deputy chairperson Rodney Kiwa told NewsDay in an interview that elections will go ahead once President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed the election dates. Kiwa said:
My prayer is that we don’t come to that because right now, in my very significant mind, I am not seeing what will stand in the way of us holding elections as soon as His Excellency, the President, has made the proclamation, I don’t see anything stopping us from holding elections.
Kiwa added that holding elections is very important because any new government, councillor or Member of Parliament draws legitimacy from the outcome of the elections.
Speaking on HStv’s FreeTalk, political analyst and academic Ibbo Mandaza claimed that there was a covert attempt to postpone the polls. Mandaza said:
Some are saying the reason for Mwonzora going to court as he has done is part of the strategy by Mnangagwa to have the elections postponed. Certainly, elements of the CCC [Citizens Coalition for Change], Nelson Chamisa himself argue that. It’s difficult not to believe it.
ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa dismissed the allegations as laughable. He said:
All our internal structures are ready for the polls, we are finishing our candidate selection. Why would we want to postpone elections.
Mwonzora has, however, defended his court challenge as necessary to guarantee free and fair elections.
Government critics, including the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) view the delimitation exercise as a ZANU-PF scheme to maintain a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The delimitation exercise set new boundaries and constituencies for the purposes of the 2023 elections.