Government has indefinitely suspended by-elections to fill vacancies in Parliament and local authorities as the country is still to weather the Covid-19 pandemic storm, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, has announced.
This was published in the Government Gazette published on October 2 under Statutory Instrument (SI) 225A of 2020.
In the SI 225A of 2020, the Minister of Health and Child Care VP Chiwenga said the suspension will stand during the period of the declaration of Covid-19 as a formidable epidemic disease.
“Pursuant to the subsection (2), the holding of any by-election to fill a casual vacancy in Parliament or in a local authority is, for the duration of the period of the declaration of Covid-19 as a formidable epidemic disease, suspended, and if such vacancy occurred while such declaration is in force, no part of the period from the date of such vacancy to the date of the end of declaration shall be counted for the purposes of Section 158(3) of the Constitution” read the SI.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission recently announced that there were 15 vacancies in Parliament that needed to be filled through by-elections following National Assembly recalls by the MDC-T.
Besides the suspension of the by elections, the ruling ZANU PF is this weekend going ahead holding primary elections to choose candidates to contest both the local goverment and House of Assembly elections for the party.
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had set December 5 this year as the day for the holding of all by-elections for seats that fell vacant as a result of the recall of mostly opposition MDC Alliance MPs and councillors.
The other vacant seats are for deceased MPs and councillors from Zanu PF, the MDC Alliance and one from the National Patriotic Front.
Another vacant seat is that of expelled Zanu PF Chivi South MP, Killer Zivhu.
ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba confirmed the dates.
“Activities shall resume on 7 October with the proposed nomination court set to sit on 9 October to fill vacancies of the recalled Members of Parliament and councillors and ZEC looking to hold all by-elections on 5 December,” she said last week.