Heal Zimbabwe Trust expresses concern over the conduct of Village heads in Hurungwe West ahead of tomorrow’s by-elections in the area.
Today(9 June 2015),Village Heads Marimo, Muindisi, Masarakufa, Chawasararia and Hwendere all from Ward 16 conducted meetings in their villages where they took down people’s names and stated that the register would be used to identify all Temba Mliswa supporters.
This was after they accused villagers of secretly supporting Independent candidate Temba Mliswa. They went on to tell the villagers that those who would have been found to have voted for Mliswa would be denied food aid. They also openly told villagers that only those who would vote for ZANU-PF candidate Keith Guzah ,were guaranteed of food aid.
In addition, the villagers were told that on the 10th of June, each Village Head would be stationed 100metres from the polling station taking down names of all those who would have voted. The move by the Village Heads is a direct violation of Section 281 (2a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that “…Traditional leaders must not be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics…”.
Heal Zimbabwe therefore implores the government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission(ZEC) to ensure that the by-elections are conducted efficiently,freely,fairly and in a conducive environment where there is no intimidation of the electorate because maintaining peace is everyone’s responsibility regardless of their position in society.