Bikita West by-elections: Latest violence and the need for electoral reforms in Zim

Charles Mabhena

Political violence that has rocked the Bikita West constituency ahead of a by-election on Saturday will test the mantle of political parties which are expected to meet with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission tomorrow.

The parties who have come up with terms of references that will be presented before ZEC will have the issue of Bikita violence flying over them.

According to Gadzamoyo Dewah who is chairing the a committee working on the terms of reference on electoral reforms on the forthcoming elections in 2018, the issue of  political violence has been a long standing one that  political parties need to resolve if a credible election is going to be held in Zimbabwe.

Counterpart   Llyod Katiyo who is part of the committee says the inactive of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has let down the political processes in the country.

The committee is going to table its findings tomorrow to 25 political representatives that includes the ruling ZANU-PF.

The terms of reference are for the nine subcommittee to work with Zec on electoral reforms on the forthcoming elections in 2018 includes the formation electoral reform subcommittees on Mapping and delimitation, voter education, voter registration, political parties funding, legal, media and publicity.

ZANU-Pf over the years has been using violence to intimidate voters to vote for its party candidates.

The beating of the opposition candidate for National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Madock Chivasa together with his election agent, Thomas Mudzamiri by unidentified assailants at Nyika growth point is seen as another attempt to cow down voters before the election.

Civic organizations such as Election Resource Centre and ZimRights have roundly condemned the attacks.

The Election Resource Centre denounced the assault that the nature of the deeming it a case of politically motivated violence following similar attacks upon supporters of Zimbabwe People First party in recent weeks.