By A Correspondent-Free Zimbabwe Congress (FreeZim) leader Joseph Busha says by-elections to fill parliamentary and local government seats are not relevant since 2023 in which the country is scheduled to hold harmonised elections is close.
He, however, observed that the by-elections will help assess the political temperature in the country considering that elections in Zimbabwe have in the past been associated with violence and intimidation of opposition members and voters.
Others say those who would have been elected in the by-elections must be allowed to be in office for five years.
Busha told Openparly in an interview that while the by-elections are not relevant, they will, however, help to determine how violent the 2023 general elections will be. He said:
We are putting our campaign strategy together, preparing to campaign to win. I think the by-elections in 2022 will be a gauge of the political temperature. Given general elections coming in 2023, I think they will not be relevant and must remain vacant until 2023.
He added that there is a great need for change and reconfiguration of the electoral system in Zimbabwe emphasising that elections cannot be postponed.
Busha said cancelling elections will be illegal, unconstitutional and a travesty of social justice and political freedom.
Former Tourism Minister in the Robert Mugabe government, Walter Mzembi, recently urged political parties to consider joining POLAD if they want reforms warning that elections without reforms are a waste of time.
He also urged them to drop some of their demands for the sake of reforms.