The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is ready to run by-elections, but was waiting for a go-ahead from President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
ZEC commissioner responsible for media liaison Qhubani Moyo on Sunday told NewsDay that they have kept some electoral activities open and are waiting for the lifting of the suspension on elections imposed by the government because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Said Moyo:
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There are no developments in that area (holding of by-elections) as we wait for the lifting of the embargo that has been enforced due to the public health emergency of COVID-19.
The proclamation of elections is done by the President and not by us, so the dates are set by the President.
As a commission, we are waiting to get the directive in terms of the dates, but on our part, we have kept open for electoral activities that do not require the physical interaction of many people.
In April this year, ZEC chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana said they will be guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care on the resumption of some electoral activities.
Silaigwana stated that 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.