18 October 2017
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Makarau says not only ZEC is to blame for inaction against violence, fingers ZRP and political parties
17/11/2016 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau, says her organisation is not the only one to blame for inaction against electoral violence.

The elections chief said political parties and the police should also pull their weight to help addres the problem.

“We believe there are other players who are not pulling their weight in controlling electoral violence but that is, maybe, an issue that we will debate at some later forum,” Makarau told reporters.

Makarau blamed the police, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and political parties for their failure to stop electoral violence. She was answering questions from journalists during a Tuesday meeting in preparation for the 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

Previous elections have been marred by severe intimidation and brutal attacks on opposition party members. Many party supporters, mostly from the MDC-T, have died since 2000 while others were left with permanent injuries.

In 2008, some people died when their homes were set alight as Zanu PF youths attacked MDC-T members in Mashonaland Central.

During the recent Norton by-election, winning candidate, Themba Mliswa, accused both ZEC and the police of inaction saying his supporters were being butchered by Zanu PF youths.

ZEC has failed to form a Liaison Committee involving police, HRC and itself leading to an increased number of violent cases reported during the election period.

Fortune Gwaze, a political analyst, said; “With all due respect, Justice Rita Makarau is not being sincere because the constitution clearly specifies the conditions under which an election should be conducted and gives that sole responsibility to ZEC to ensure that those conditions are met and ZEC must then direct the police and political parties.”

“After all, there is a code of conduct and if they are aware of the violence they should send a clear message that they do not tolerate it. The responsibility lies entirely on ZEC to make sure those conditions are met. And if they know that there is violence, then they should nullify the election,” Gwaze told New Zimbabwe.

Gwaze said if ZEC remains complicit in state perpetrated violence the public will be justified to view the electoral body as biased as they are the custodians of the code of conduct.



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