ZEC is accountable to Parliament, not social media; Justice Chigumba

By Bruce Chahwanda

Political Editor

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has challenged political parties to campaign peacefully and desist from hate speech ahead of the 26 March by-elections.

As March 26 draws nearer, political parties are on the campaign trail to drum up support for their respective candidates hence the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission-ZEC is calling for peaceful campaigns.

Addressing aspiring candidates, civil society organisations and other stakeholders who attended the launch of a multiparty liaison committee in Harare this Wednesday, ZEC Chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba appealed to political parties to desist from fuelling tension through hate speech.

“I urge political parties to campaign peacefully, refrain from hate speech, use MPLC to solve conflicts. Political parties must resist the urge to blame ZEC in advance as you are facing defeat, please we want to hear more of what your party stands for and give us your strategies,” said Justice Chigumba.

Justice Chigumba also indicated that her organisation is not accountable to social media but to Parliament.

“As we are in election mode, you will be reading all about voters roll fraud from nameless, faceless individuals on social media, they continue to send questions and we know our mandate and how to account to stakeholders. You want ZEC to respond to Twitter or social media give us proper legislation. ZEC will account through parliament according to the legislative framework, not social media,” she said.

The ZEC multiparty liaison committee is the platform for an amicable resolution of disputes and conflicts before, during and after the 26th of March by-elections.