Godfrey Gandawa, the former Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development has said the banning of by-elections in the country was meant to achieve a political goal.
He speaks after the Minister of Health and Child Care, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga through Statutory Instrument (SI) 225A of 2020 banned the holding of by-elections citing the coronavirus.
Commenting on the ban, Gandawa said:
Chiwenga betrayed his political motives by specifically mentioning by-elections. The Health ministry only needed to lay down general regulations on gatherings, leaving ZEC to reach its own determination as to whether it could conduct elections under those broad regulations.Assuming the Sport ministry wants to hold an event, of any nature, will Chiwenga issue another statutory instrument to stop them? The Health ministry should have issued non-discriminatory guidelines applying to all human activity instead of maliciously targeting elections.
ZEC is supposedly an independent institution and should have the latitude to determine whether or not it can hold an election while abiding by health regulations. Government, confirming widely held views, is interfering with ZEC because it is angling for a political outcome.
Meanwhile, the ruling ZANU PF held primary elections over the weekend to elect representatives in the by-elections scheduled for December.
Government critics have often said the state is militarising the coronavirus lockdown to gain political mileage.
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