By Robert Tapfumaneyi
JUSTICE Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi confirmed Sunday the government had decided to shelve holding parliamentary and council by-elections while it focuses on fighting the spread of the coronavirus.
He told Zanu PF supporters during a Mashonaland West provincial coordinating committee meeting in Chinhoyi over the weekend the country’s financial resources had been channelled towards fighting the deadly pandemic.
“We cannot have by-elections this year because we are still faced with the coronavirus pandemic, so President Emmerson Mnangagwa said let’s defer by-elections,” Ziyambi said.
“We are simply deferring. We are not saying they will not be there, we said let’s defer, and use the resources that we have to fight the pandemic and save lives.
“So we cannot risk the lives of our people and go to a by-election when we have an opportunity to do it after and save the lives of our people. Besides, resources are currently being channelled towards the fight against Covid-19.”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had set 5 December as the day for the by-elections. This is after the MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe had recalled dozens of MDC Alliance MPs, and councillors on allegations they were no longer party members. Others from Zanu PF, the National Patriotic Front, and the MDC Alliance had died from natural causes.
However, according to a local legal think-tank, Veritas, the decision by the government to suspend the by-elections citing Covid-19 was unconstitutional.