Zimbabwe Electoral Commission( ZEC) yesterday published a statement that revealed that it has lifted the suspension on by-elections with immediate effect, In the statement, ZEC Chair Priscilla Chigumba said they will publish pending by-elections timelines in due course:
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform the public that it has lifted with immediate effect the suspension of electoral activities following measures taken by Government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Electoral timelines for all the pending by-elections will be published in the press through notices in due course.
The lifting follows a cautionary observation of the pandemic’s trends and subsequent adoption of health safety measures including the drafting and operationalisation of a Covid-19 policy on electoral activities by the commission whose contents were open to stakeholders’ contribution. The Covid-19 policy on electoral activities which outlines how by-elections and other electoral activities will be conducted without exposing those involved to health risks is now on the Zec website www.zec.org.zw for the public.
The commission is appealing to stakeholders to strictly adhere to the policy in order to curb the spread of the Covid-19 disease which is still highly contagious.
ZEC’s Chief Elections Officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana said not all vacant seats will be filled through by-elections though:
At the moment we have received notification of seven vacancies in the National Assembly of which six are through expulsion by their party and one through death. The death is that of Kwekwe’s Masango Matambanadzo. In the Senate there are nine vacancies and in local authorities we have 23 vacancies which have occurred through expulsions and deaths
…The public should take note that some vacancies will not be filled through by-elections as individual parties will replace them in the case of Proportional Representation MPs and Senators.
Meanwhile, Zanu Pf and MDC T have already announced they will be contesting the vacant seats left vacant mainly by the latter recalling MDC Alliance legislators.