Leading elections watchdog, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) has commended the ruling Zanu PF on its peace pronouncement saying they should walk the talk as the country gears for the watershed 2018 harmonised elections.
In a statement released on Thursday, ERC said Zanu PF must ensure that their peace calls reach their supporters in the grassroots.
“The Election Resource Centre (ERC) applauds sentiments from the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) spokesperson Honourable Simon Khaya Moyo in which he denounced (Newsday 12 June 2017) political violence as the nation gears for the watershed 2018 general elections. However, the party must walk the talk and continue to propagate the information to the grassroots,” the ERC executive director Tawanda Chimhini said in a statement.
In the past Zanu PF party has been fingered in several incidences of violence.
Chimhini said Khaya Moyo’s remarks need to be backed by concrete mechanisms through which the party “intends to inculcate a culture of tolerance amongst its members who usually resort to violence.”
He urged all the political parties to encourage their members respect and enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates.
“The ERC urges all political parties in Zimbabwe to respect and enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates whose sole purpose is to promote conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections and a climate of tolerance in which electioneering activities may take place without fear or coercion, intimidation or reprisals,” said Chimhini.
He added that, “The Electoral Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates is a critical instrument in fostering political tolerance. Mechanisms must however be put in place to curb violence and make perpetrators of violence accountable for their undesirable actions.”
Chimhini called on the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the National Prosecution authority, the Zimbabwe Judicial Service and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission “who are obligated by the Electoral Act to contribute invariably towards measures against politically motivated violence, to take their constitutional mandate seriously and ensure mechanisms for eliminating violence are upheld.”