Politics & General News

Zimbabwe Socio-Economic Democrats (ZSD) calling on all Zimbabwean political parties to boycott the 26th of March By-Elections By Nkosikhona Ndlovu

*PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEMOCRATS (ZSD)* Zimbabwe Socio-Economic Democrats (ZSD) is calling on all political parties to boycott the costly ($1.5 billion) and poorly planned 26th of March By-Elections. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has deprived thousands of prospective first-time voters an opportunity to participate in the upcoming by-elections. Not only did ZEC not provide adequate and accessible registration centres throughout the country but also have closed too early the voter’s roll for the upcoming 26th of March By-Elections.Clearly our youths have been disenfranchased in exercising their democratic right to participate in the by-elections as enshrined in our Zimbabwe Constitution which states in Chapter 7 that the *”State must ensure that all eligible citizens, that is to say the citizens qualified under the Fourth Schedule, are registered as voters”*While the lockdown was necessary to control spread of the pandemic, there has been gross selective application of lockdown regulations in Zimbabwe under ZANU PF rule. As opposition political parties we have been effectively restricted in our political activities and gatherings while for the ruling party it has been business as usual with large gatherings and holding their internal elections without any hindrance. This selective application of the law is a major factor in determining the balance on the political playing field.The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level musttake reasonable measures, including affirmative action programmes, to ensure that Youths (that is to say people between the ages of fifteen and thirty-fiveyears) have opportunities to associate and to be represented and participate inpolitical, social, economic and other spheres of life. As ZSD we are puzzled in that there is no mention by ZEC on the Diaspora Vote which is provided for in our national constitution yet they claim to be ready for 2023 National Elections! That said we are calling for all political parties to boycott this costly ($1.5 billion) 26th of March By-Elections and together push for Electoral Reforms ( Amendment of the Electorate Act as per our Constitution and demilitarazation of ZEC) needed for free and fair National Elections. We further demand the reintroduction of the Mobile Voter Registration Blitz to ensure that our citizens have access to register and vote.To Join our *Socio-Economic Revolution* contact infodesk on : info@zsd.org.zw / sociodemocrats@gmail.com

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