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Election Lobby Group Trash Hungwe Remarks

Local elections lobby group, Election Resource Centre (ERC) has lashed out at the newly appointed Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Josiah Hungwe for his recent remarks that Zanu PF will work with the army to campaign ahead of the 2018 general elections.

In an interview with 263Chat, ERC Executive Director, Tawanda Chimhini expressed concern over remarks by Hungwe saying the Zimbabwe Defence Forces should maintain a non-partisan role during polls.

“The Election Resource Centre (ERC) is concerned with Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Josiah Hungwe’s statement that ZANU PF will work with the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) to campaign ahead of the 2018 general elections,” Chimhini said.

Chimhini urged the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to maintain non-partisan role during the electoral processes.

“ERC urges the Zimbabwe Defense Forces to maintain non-partisan role during the electoral processes,” the organisation’s executive director Tawanda Chimhini said adding, “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to ensure political parties observe neutrality and promote free, fair and credible elections.”

TellZim, a Masvingo based newspaper, reported that Minister Hungwe expressed at the ZANU PF Masvingo Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting recently, that ZANU-PF jointly campaign with the ZDF.

The ERC encouraged all political parties and ZDF to respect and observe the neutrality of ZDF as is mandated by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“Section 208 (2) (a) and (b) states that “neither the security services nor any of their members may, in the exercise of the functions (a) “act in a partisan manner” (b) “ further the interests of any political party or cause,” Chimhini said.

Chimhini said ahead of the 2018 elections, “it is important to ensure principles of transparency, freedom of speech and impartiality are maintained. In addition, as a signatory to the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.”

ERC urged the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that a peaceful environment is maintained that would enable citizens of Zimbabwe to exercise their constitutional right to vote without fear or intimidation.

 

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