ZEC Will Be Guided By Health Protocols – Silaigwana

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has reiterated its stance that it will be guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care on the resumption of some electoral activities.

In a statement on Sunday, ZEC chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana said although the Constitution enshrines fundamental rights, there were also limits imposed to such rights.

Most election activities were suspended last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and although ZEC announced last month that it would resume voter registration and other related fieldwork at the start of this month, elections remain suspended.

Silaigwana said Section 86 of the Constitution limits freedoms in the interest of public safety, public health and the general interest of the public. He said:

Where such rights are limited through a Statutory Instrument and which instrument has not been set aside by a court of law, the Commission has no right to disregard lawful obligations.

Political parties, especially the ruling ZANU PF party, have been conducting various activities including rallies even during the lockdown.

The MDC Alliance has expressed frustration over the suspension of by-elections as the party seeks to regain the parliamentary seats that it lost after the Zanu PF Speaker of Parliament allowed the smaller MDC-T to recall its MPs.

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