By Moses Chibaya
THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) has lashed out at the newly appointed Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Josiah Hungwe (pictured) for saying Zanu PF will work with the army to campaign ahead of the 2018 general elections.
“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 Defence Forces (ZDF) to campaign ahead of the 2018 general elections,” ERC executive director Tawanda 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,” Chimhini said, adding, “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to ensure political parties observe neutrality and promote free, fair and credible elections.”
A Masvingo based newspaper reported recently that Hungwe told a party Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting that Zanu PF will 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 government to ensure that a peaceful environment is maintained and would enable citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote without fear or intimidation.