By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has lifted the ban on conduction elections which was imposed in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic early this year.
In a statement, ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba said the lifting of the embargo was with immediate effect and will pave way for several pending by-elections.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to inform the public that it has lifted with immediate effect the suspension of electoral activities following measures taken by Government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Chigumba said.
The elections body said the electoral timelines for all pending by-elections will be published in the press through notices in due course.
ZEC said the lifting of the suspension followed a cautionary observation of the pandemic’s trends and subsequent adoption of health safety measures including the drafting and operationalisation of a Covid-19 policy on electoral activities.
“The Covid-19 policy on electoral activities which outlines how by-elections and other electoral activities will be conducted without exposing those involved to health risks is now on the ZEC website www.zec.org.zw for the public,” the elections body said.
Several vacancies in parliament and councils have arisen after MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe recalled opposition party MPs aligned to the rival MDC Alliance.
Some of the proportional representation seats in parliament and senate will be filled through nominations with the rest being filled through direct polling.