President of the Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) party, Linda Masarira has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa not to use the coronavirus crisis to indefinitely suspend by-elections in violation of the Constitution.
Masarira said several African countries, some of them with populations larger than that of Zimbabwe, held general elections in 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is Masarira’s full Twitter thread:
In Africa countries like Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Seychelles, Tanzania and Togo had presidential elections in 2020. Cognisant of the #COVID19 regulations in place which suspended by-elections in Zimbabwe.
I feel that our right to elect leaders of our choice at ward and constituency level is being violated. Mr President @edmnangagwa when you came into power you promised to abide by constitutionalism.
Countries with huge populations successfully held elections in 2020, and your party @ZANUPF_Official successfully held DCC elections in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
After doing some deep introspection, I have realized that it is unfair to use #COVID19 as an excuse to violate constitutional electoral processes.
Many wards and constituencies are vacant because of the 2020 recall, some of the leaders passed on & the electoral act is clear about having by-elections when a councillor or MP dies, gets recalled, resigns or gets fired.
We expect you to show leadership by ensuring that by-elections are held as soon as possible to fill all vacant wards and constituencies.
Let us avoid politicking on issues that do not need politicking at all. Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy and no one is above the law. We want the by-elections as soon as possible.