It is illegal to disrupt or block disclosure of election results already known and supposed to be made public with immediate effect upon voting, and in this light, ZEC has committed a serious offence against the Electoral Act https://t.co/oYYX6f4R2G
— ZimEye (@ZimEye) August 22, 2023
STATEMENT BY THE COMMISSIONER-GENERAL OF POLICE ON THE ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE’S STATE OF PREPAREDNESS FOR THE ELECTIONS DAY AND THE PRECEDING PERIOD
As the country heads for the anticipated Harmonized Elections tomorrow, 23rd August 2023, the Zimbabwe Republic Police reiterates that the security environment is indeed peaceful for the nation to hold free, fair, peaceful and credible elections.
My office has deployed appropriate levels of police officers at all polling stations, collation, constituency, provincial and National Command Centres to ensure that effective law and order is maintained during the voting process and thereafter. However, the Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned with political utterances by some political leaders that they will not accept election results which are not in their favour and at the same time calling upon voters to gather at polling stations after casting their votes in what they call defend your vote through REP (Register, Elect and Protect).
As if that is not enough, we have noted that some purported civic organisations such as Team Pachedu and others are sending messages on social media platforms mobilizing the public to gather within the 301 metre-radius at polling stations while waiting for the election results.
May I therefore remind Zimbabweans and visitors that the country’s law enforcement agents are mandated to protect the internal security of the country without any form of hesitation or compromise. Above all, the public should take note that the Electoral Act, Chapter 2:13 is not the only piece of legislation that regulate public gatherings. We have also the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act Chapter 11:23 which clearly stipulates that among other public gatherings, all politically inclined gatherings must be duly notified and subsequently sanctioned by the relevant regulating authority.
In this regard, any gatherings at polling stations, collation, constituency, provincial and National Command Centres are unlawful. Any gatherings outside polling stations shall be dealt with in terms of the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act, Chapter 11:23. My office will indeed invoke the necessary security measures to maintain law and order without fear or favour in the country.
Unruly elements bent on causing chaos, alarm and despondency in the country are accordingly warned.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is also aware that some civic organizations claim that they have put measures in place to announce the results on 24th August 2023 through statistics availed by some party polling agents. In terms of the Electoral Act, Chapter 2:13, it is the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission only who has the legal mandate to announce the election results in the country. Therefore, any deviation from the legal provisions shall be dealt with according to the country’s laws.
I also urge the voters to peacefully cast their votes and go back home, to church or any socio-economic activity one is set to conduct. No gatherings shall be allowed by the Police at polling stations.
The public should feel free to conduct various family. business and other social activities with no disruption as police officers are firm on the ground for their safety.